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