What I know for sure about training

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There are as many ways to train as there are runners, even though most training plans follow the same pattern:

  • Build a base. Building your base is basically making sure that you will have the endurance you need to start training for whatever distance you chose.
  • Strength. Not so much about strength training, but more about beginning to work harder, with speed work and hill repeats.
  • Peak. After you’ve laid your base and worked on getting faster/stronger, it’s time to go longer — and harder.
  • Taper. You’ve done the hard work (and probably beaten your body up a little — or a lot!). It’s time to dial it back, and let your body recover just enough so that you have a great race (but not so much that you lose all your hard work).

There are all sorts of variations: run 3 x week; no, run every day!; back to back long runs (those crazy ultra racers); even spreading our your training over a longer cycle than a week.

Remember, I’m not a running coach. The point is simply that while most (but not all) people agree on the phases of training, there are a lot of different ways to train.

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This PR was years in the making

The most important thing I know about training
Training is never wasted. You may not reach your running goal in one training cycle, but if you don’t give up and you continue to train smart, you will improve.

Training is cumulative

I personally feel that now is a great time to cut back — not stop, mind you, just cut back. Unless you truly think that training is the only thing keeping you sane. If that’s you, just make sure you sometimes ask yourself how it’s working for you. Be honest with yourself.

Always training hard is a invitation for injury. Even our ancestors would rest after they outran that saber tooth tiger.

Smart training will keep you injury free
Yup, you can overtrain and injure yourself, which is why I ask you to check yourself before you wreck yourself with how you’re training presently.

I know some runners feel it’s possible to jump into almost any distance with minimal training. My number one goal for any race is to finish it pain free. Of course I’ve had times I haven’t met that goal, but for the most part, I have. I’d rather live to run another day.

Begin as you mean to go on
IOW, train for the conditions you expect. Hilly course? Don’t train on flat roads; if that’s all you have, try using a treadmill for hills. Working on speed? You gotta run fast. Sometimes. Going long? It’s more important to have time on your feet than speed work. You get the idea.

Do you train or just run? 

Are you training even if you’re not racing?

What’s your best training tip? 

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.

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29 thoughts on “What I know for sure about training

  1. “Always training hard is an invitation for injury”. So true, Judy!
    I think many runners fall into that trap! I am one, for sure.
    I have been running a lot lately and I have a niggling pain in my upper thigh…. time for a few rest days, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I agree. There are many ways to train.

    When I first started, I followed the steps you mentioned.

    But as I continued to run through the years, I realized that friendships were more important than PRs so my training has reflected that.

    My faster times will end but not the connections I’ve made through running.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think the most important thing for me is to always have a good base so that I can build off of that. It’s so hard to start from square 1 but if I can start from square 5 that’s a little better, lol

    Liked by 1 person

  4. For several years, I felt like I was missing something. I just couldn’t do high mileage…physically or mentally. I even worked with a coach, who had me doing lots and lots of miles and my body just didn’t like it. It took awhile, but I learned to embrace the fact that I don’t need the high miles to have success. In fact, I’m kind of lucky I don’t “need” all those miles LOL It’s hard to do running (or any sport) on your own terms, especially in these days of rampant social media, but that’s what’s gonna give us (individually) the best results.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes, peer pressure & social media can be hard! You do great with your training, Kim! I did really enjoy working with a coach, though, I won’t lie — sometimes it’s nice to give the reins over to someone else. 🙂

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  5. I like the process of training, even if there is no race in sight right now! I think training plans are so individual. There are different strategies that will work well for different runners and so many factors can come into play.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree that training is never wasted. I am not a high mileage runner at all and that’s ok with me. Like you, my goal is to finish a race pain free. I just want to keep running as long as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I do not train unless I’ve got a race coming up. I think one of the most misunderstood things out there, and I blame social media for this, is that many people do not understand the body’s cycle of building fitness and resting. So many people race too often or race without a taper or expect high performance from their body when they haven’t fueled or rested adequately.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It kind of depends on your goals. If you enjoy racing just to get out there with others (something I’m sure most of us are missing) then just run, but still remember rest and recovery etc. For those who like to race with an intent to get faster, then training should be cyclical. Build, sustain, peak, race, recover, repeat.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Right now I am not training for anything but simply running. It is usually “easier” for me during the summer because I have more time to dedicate to it since I am off. At first I was not motivated but since May have been working with a new coach and things are going well. I really doubt any races will happen this year so in a way I am preparing for next year. I had quite a few goals for this year so next year it will be the year! 🙂

    Thank you for linking up with us!

    Liked by 1 person

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