Are you thinking about training for a race? Well, congratulations (even if you are just thinking about it)! After you think about it, then you sign up, then you think, “Oh no, what am I doing?!”, then what? There are so many training plans out there; it is hard to decide which one to follow. So, what makes a good training program?
Having helped hundreds of women train for their first and/or best race, I’ve found that there are 5 key components to include in your weekly, top-notch training program.
- Speed Workout: Fast Day
During these workouts, you will focus on turn-over. Turn-over is how fast you pick your foot up off of the ground and put it back down again. Workouts are shorter periods of time done at 1-mile pace or slightly faster with complete rest in between bursts of speed.
- Tempo/Pacing Workout: Comfortably Hard Day
These workouts teach you how to hold a steady, consistent pace for an entire run. You are pushing at a comfortably-hard pace for a longer period of time. Your goal is to keep a consistent pace for the entire time.
- Endurance Run Workout: Easy, Relaxed Day
This workout is done at a slower pace. You are teaching your body and mind to run longer and longer distances.
- Eating for Fuel: Eating a balanced diet every day is an important part of any training plan. Pay attention to how your body performs after eating different foods. What combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats makes your body feel at its best?
- Psychological Edge Training: During your speed, tempo, and endurance runs, pay attention to how you talk to yourself. Do you know that point physically and mentally, when it just doesn’t feel good, and your body yells, “Stop, this is really uncomfortable!”?
What if you kept going? Try different mantras, words, visualizations, and/or focusing strategies to help you run through the uncomfortable. This component is the one most often overlooked but is the key for all top athletes.
Incorporate these 5 key components into your life, and you’ll be on your way to tapping your true running potential. Now, go for it!