We’ve got a guest post today from my running coach Denny Krahe. Denny is a Certified Athletic Trainer and Running Coach specializing in helping runners prevent common running injuries and experiencing the joy of running pain free. He also hosts “Diz Runs Radio”
Officially getting into the workouts on your training plan for your next race is an exciting time.
You’re no longer running just to run, you’re running in the pursuit of a goal that is 16ish weeks away.
Whether you have downloaded a training plan online, are putting one together on your own, and have purchased a training plan from a good coach you now have a plan to help you get from where you are currently to where you want to be on race day.
So all you need to do is follow the training plan, right?
3 Keys to a Successful Training Cycle
Honestly, is there anything in life that ends up being as simple as it sounds on paper?
I didn’t think so.
Here are 3 keys that I stress with all of the runners that I coach and that I stress in my upcoming book Be Ready on Race Day. I would strongly encourage you to keep these tips in mind as you dive into your training plan and start preparing for your race.
- Your Plan is NOT Set in Stone
If I were only going to give you one tip to be successful in your training, this would be it!
Your plan is not set in stone. It is not gospel.
If you need to change something in your training plan because of factors beyond your control, that is fine.
The kids are going to need something that will screw up your plan for the day. You are going to have to go into work early/stay late which will cost you a run. The weather might take a turn and you might be too stubborn to even consider running on a treadmill.
(Maybe that last one is just me…)
The point is, at some point in your training cycle the odds are that something will pop up and conflict with your training plan.
Be willing to adjust your plan as needed because I can almost guarantee that you’re going to need to.
- No Single Run is “Do or Die”
When life happens and you’re forced to miss a workout, how do you react?
Whether you turn to hysterics, break down and cry, or give up on your training altogether I have news for you: the sun is going to come up tomorrow.
Meaning, when you miss a run life keeps going and you need to as well.
I promise you, if you only miss one run while you are training for your race, you will still be fully prepared for your race.
Think about it, how many miles are you going to put in between now and race day? Probably a few hundred? Do you really think that missing one run is going to undo all of the progress you’ll have made during this training cycle.
When you miss a run, let it go and move on because that run isn’t going to cost you a thing.
You know what will cost you? Missing a run and then trying to make up for it the next day and you end up with an injury.
Please, don’t make that mistake.
If you miss a run, do your best to simply brush it off and move on to the next day.
- Listen to Your Body
Our bodies are amazing.
The things that your body allows you to do, the amount of information it processes every second of every day, and how it adapts to the demands that you place on it are astounding.
When something isn’t right, our bodies know about it right away.
And, for the most part, it does a great job of letting us know that something is going on that needs to be addressed.
We, however, tend to do a terrible job of listening to our bodies.
We may notice that there is something that doesn’t feel quite right, but since we are training for a race we keep grinding and try to ignore the pain.
Has that ever solved anything? I didn’t think so.
What happens instead is that the problem gets worse in order for us to accept that there is a problem and do something to try and fix it.
But here’s the thing: if you listen to what your body is telling you and act accordingly, you can often prevent it from getting worse while you continue running. When you wait until it gets bad enough that you have to address it, you will likely need to take time off for the body to do the necessary repair work.
Learning how to listen to your body and adjust your training appropriately is a skill that takes some time to learn, but it is invaluable if you plan to make running part of your life for many years to come.
Perfection is Impossible
In a perfect world you’d get your training plan, follow it to the letter, and nail your goals on race day.
This is, however, a far from perfect world in which we live.
As you begin your training plan to prepare for your race, remember that perfection is impossible.
You will not adhere to your plan perfectly.
So when life happens, and it will, keep these tips in mind as you continue to prepare for your race.