Blog contributed by Jon Sinclair, Anaerobic Management. 10 ways to train smartly for your next race.
- Run more and expand your aerobic base - By slowly adding miles to your training program you will increase your aerobic base and develop more strength.
- Periodize your training - Develop good, general strength with easy miles for at least 8 weeks, then slowly add hills and anaerobic training, and finally faster training and racing while reducing your general miles.
- Run consistently - Run at least 5 times per week, every week.
- Run faster than your race pace at least once every week - After aerobic base training is complete, run at least one workout per week that incorporates running at faster than race pace for periods lasting longer than 2 minutes with no more than 2 minute rests between efforts.
- Make your training specific to your racing - Run workouts which simulate the type of conditions you expect during your upcoming race.
- Run long once every week - Build up to running one workout each week that exceeds 90 minutes and is run at a very slow, conversational pace (less than 70% of your max heart rate.)
- Organize your training - Plan your workouts and races in advance; know what you’re going to do when you go out the door to train; record all your workouts in a running log and review the progress weekly.
- Set goals - Knowing where you’re going makes getting there a lot easier; record your goals in your running log where you can see them regularly.
- Incorporate rest into your training plan - Use the hard day, easy day method of training and add extra days after races and particularly hard workouts.
- Concentrate your efforts - Nothing improves running like running; cross training is great for injuries but for those of us with limited time and energy for training there is no substitute for running.
Special thanks to Jon Sinclair, Kent Oglesby and Kim Jones, Anaerobic Management and Online Coaching For Distance Runners for this article.