You’re about to receive a (currently) 12 part series on key topics as you train over the coming months.
These topics are generally organized in such a manner that the earlier topics are more appropriate farther out from your goal event. Such as the topic of body composition and proper pacing. Topics closer to your goal event include racing tips, tapering, and carb loading.
While these all won’t be applicable to you in their entirety, you may gain some knowledge and insight from bits and pieces each week.
For the first part I wanted to cover a few of the most important items you need to be aware of.
The absolute #1 rule is to not get hurt.
“The primary goal of training is to stay injury free so you can continue training” – Jon Savage
Because if you get hurt and cannot run, I’m out of a job. But you’re also out of training 😉 And neither of us want that!
Consistent and frequent training over a long period of time is the best thing you can possibly do to improve your strength, stamina, and fitness.
There are of course numerous factors that go into not getting hurt, but I believe the primary elements are:
1) Training Load Modulation.
2) Proper Recovery Practices
3) Willingness to Rest
4) Strength Work
Training Load Modulation – In a nutshell this means having mostly easy days and the occasional hard day. Running long once in a while and not running at all once in a while. If you want to see an example of this, google “half marathon training schedule” and 99% off them will have mostly easy days, mostly short/medium distance days, a couple rest days, a once weekly long run. Easy Runs.
Proper Recovery – Running does not make you stronger. Running, just like doing bicep curls, weakens you. What makes you stronger is the easy and rest days. For some a 3 mile run may be a workout and a rest day is needed. For others an easy 3 is a recovery day. Part of this is making sure your easy days are truly easy and done at a conversational effort. Nutrition is also a part of proper recovery. When you exercise your body is broken down but super-compensates to strengthen itself to a level where it can handle the previous training load. Eating adequate calories and protein daily essential components of your body rebuilding itself to become stronger. Article of Interest
Willingness to Rest – I often remind people that the best runners are the best at resting. Because to train consistently and frequently you must avoid injury. Sometimes avoiding injury comes down to noticing your shins have been a bit achy or your left calf has been tight during your last couple runs – taking a few days or to a week super light with some cross training – and being totally good to go after that. Why did I get hurt?
Strength Work – Doing frequent and consistent strength work improves your body’s ability to handle these training loads, improves your ability to recover, improves your body composition, and improves your running economy. I prefer my clients do at least 3 strength routines weekly but upwards of 5 or even 6. The bulk of the routines they do are general strength & mobility which are usually unlikely to induce delayed onset muscle soreness. Get your strength work here.
As a coach, one of the first things I do is make sure my clients are aware of these things.
Below are a few videos that further stress the importance of these pointers.