Are you having some self identity issues since finishing your goal race? Do not become victim to jumping back in to full training and risking injury and/or burn out. Take some time to explore things outside of running that can have a positive impact on your running.
Well as I have been harping on in my last couple of blogs take some time to reflect. What could you realistically do to help improve your training? Be sure to be realistic with these you want to chose thing(s) that you can actually make a change to. The more serious I get with my own training the more I am realizing the way to make big improvements is to focus on the things outside of running that we all take for granted. I am talking sleep, down time, nutrition, strength work etc. The running and training is really the easiest part of it all.
Now that we are in a break between having to start our next training cycle it is also important that you remember why you are doing this. What is it you are hoping to get out of running? And how can you set yourself up better than ever for the next training cycle.
Here are some suggestions of things to put a focus on to help improve your running.
- Strength work
-we could all be stronger
-if you do not currently have a strength routine while training it is time to get one*
-now is the time you can make gains in strength, then when you are in your training cycle it is all about maintaining the strength
- Gait work
-ever wonder if you are running as efficiently as you could be? Now is the time to find out and work on it if there is room for improvement**
-during a marathon we take 40-50,000 STEPS!!! If we can be a little more efficient every step that can have a huge impact on injury risk and performance
- Down time
-start practicing how you are going to realistically schedule this in to your training– simple way is find a tree, put your feet up and chill!
-I promise it makes the world of difference and will help to increase your recovery before hitting a new cycle
-do not judge it until you have tried it
-I have used the head space app which I found to be very useful leading up to my marathon
-get more of it!!
-we could all use more sleep and there is research to say that a lack of sleep does put you at a greater risk for injury
-wouldn’t it be nice to have a plan that you know works for you in regards to nutrition?
-this was my first training cycle that my nutrition/GI was not an issue and it made a huge difference on the workouts I was able to do without bathroom breaks
-also no GI issues during a marathon is pretty great!—I highly recommend
-do not start your next training cycle with any leftover injury issues from the previous cycle
-is there something that continually bothered you throughout?
-get it treated and figure out why it happened in the first place and address it before heading in to the next cycle***
- GPS free workouts: but only for fun
-fartlek- can be as simple as running hard to the stop sign and easy to the fire hydrant etc. Or as structured as 1min hard/1min easy for 5k. But be sure to keep it based on effort and do not be a slave to paces— leave the GPS at home, if you dare. Enjoy the time when you do not have to be concerned with paces.
-hills- you know that hill you avoided on your recovery runs during your training cycle (*or at least I did) well now is the time to conquer it. Hill repeats are a great way to work on fitness and strength. Run hard up the hill and use the downhill as your recovery, keep it continuous. Try to find a hill that is at least 200m long and repeat 6-8x.
-this is something that most of us could spend more time on so take the time now to experiment with different mobility exercises and see what works for you
-here are a couple of videos with some ideas to try: https://www.instagram.com/p/BZwMixOAFJG/?hl=en&taken-by=torunningchiro https://www.instagram.com/p/BYONAf0gx6I/?hl=en&taken-by=torunningchiro
- Reflect + Evolve
-take some time to think back to your training cycle. What could you improve on? What did you find work well for you? What did not work well?
-remember the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” – Albert Einstein
-it is important to always be evolving when it comes to our training plans
In regard to planning your next racing journey. Take some time to choose the race you want to do and work backwards from there. Mapping out when you need to get in to serious training mode. Once you have fully recovered from your race (I suggest taking 1-2 weeks off all activity) run for FUN!! Sometimes we forget in the structured training plans why we do this and it is because somewhere along the line we fell in love with running. So, go back to those roots, head out the door with no plan and run because you want to not because you have to or the plan says to.
If you are getting antsy for a workout as mentioned above do a fartlek or run up and down some hills as suggested above. Keep the structure light. While we are in a training cycle there is a lot of mental focus and it is not possible (*or fun) to always be this dialed in. So, take the time now before your next build starts to enjoy running!! Or even be so bold as to try something that is not running— spin class anyone?
So basically, my message is CHILL OUT on the training front for the time being. Even if you were doing a 16wk training plan and running the earliest marathon this spring, you do not need to be started until well in to December… and it is early November.
So just relax and enjoy the run!!
*The Runner’s Academy has some great strength training options through personal training and even a run stronger class— I highly recommend this to every runner!
**this is what we do at The Runner’s Academy we help people to run better!
***we also treat many runners for their injuries/niggles and even supportive/proactive care
Check us out: www.therunnersacademy.com