Assessing And Executing Your Running Plan

Posted: September 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

It’s important to periodically assess your running goals and evaluate how your current training plan relates to them. Establishing goals is the easy part of developing a training program, strategically developing a realistic plan to achieve those goals is asignificantly more challenging.

Goals don’t always have to be time-based. Running injury-free and enjoying running more by incorporating trail running and cross-training are also goals that should be considered. All runners would be well-served by improving their flexibility, eating better, staying hydrated and getting sufficient rest. I continue to be surprised by the number of runners that have goals that are exclusively time-based but don’t have a plan besides training and racing more…that is a recipe for an injury.

Make sure your running goals are not etched in stone and you’re comfortable modifying them as circumstances require. Runners tend to be extremely motivated and disciplined and not very comfortable taking a respite from training in order to make progress. It’s counterintuitive to think you can benefit more from a rest day than a hard workout but a well-timed and much-needed rest day is far more beneficial to one’s training.

It’s also important to identify the weak areas of your training program. A few common weaknesses I see in runners include, but are not limited to, absolutely no stretching, no properly refueling before, during or after running, improper form and wearing shoes that aren’t designed to complement their biomechanical needs.

Running is a relatively uncomplicated act. However, once you deviate from the path of least resistance by allowing one or more of the aforementioned transgressions to enter your training, it suddenly becomes a very complex and frustrating activity. The challenge for every runner is to keep all the pieces of the puzzle together.

Be very honest about the areas you know you’re weak in and address them. Adding an additional 15 minutes of post-run stretching will benefit you far more than any amount of running. The same can be said about adding an additional hour of sleep per night, reducing your alcohol consumption, reducing late night snacking or making a concerted effort to improve your form and running efficiency.

The quickest and most-effective way to improve your running is to conduct an honest assessment of each facet of your running and develop a plan that is synchronized with those findings. You’ll soon find that you’ve set the stage for executing a plan that completely transforms your running.

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