At a time where there are no races in the running calendar and we’re only allowed to leave the house once a day to exercise or to grab the essentials, it’s hard to know the right thing to be doing in regards to our training.
Without a race goal in sight, it can be quite easy to lose motivation, however, I’m trying to use this time productively and look at training in a different way.
After speaking with a few different athletes and some of an international level, there’s lots of things we can do in this time to become a better and stronger runner. Their competitors won’t be stopping so they won’t be either!
If you’re injured or have a slight niggle, use this time to recover and recover properly. Put running on the back burner and make sure you fully heal from your injury. With no race to train for, why not use the time to become stronger? If you have some cross-training equipment such as a bike or turbo, then ideal, use this instead to maintain fitness or use your once a day token to go for a walk. As well, add in some at-home strength training and work on the areas that are weaker. When you begin running again there’s less chance of you getting injured again and it will help your core and running form.
Meant to be running a marathon in April or May?
If you were training for a big event (such as a marathon) and were due to complete it soon, then continue to follow the taper plan and reduce the intensity of your training. I personally wouldn’t advise running a marathon distance in training. I’ve said to the clients that want to mark the day of the marathon, they can complete 20.62 miles without running the full distance and finish marathon training at this point. Not running 26.2 will allow your body a swifter recovery and the chance to continue with training. Running a marathon on your own will be a lot harder, without the support, crowds and race day buzz. Have this time as recovery and replicate what your body would have needed after the marathon. You’ve been training for 4 – 6 months already so your body will appreciate this time off.
At a loose end?
If you’re like me and didn’t have any big races soon, but had hopes for later in the year, then ‘just run’. After recently overcoming an injury, I was finally in a place where I was training consistently and back to my old routine. For now, I’m going to continue with 5 – 6 runs a week (I need rest days) but take the majority of these runs ‘easy’. This may be harder as I’m running with my other half James and he’s a lot quicker than I am, but I’m not wanting to place my body under too much stress.
The aim is to build my weekly mileage up which can be done if I don’t run too many ‘sessions’ or ‘workouts’ in the week and get my body used to running 35-40 miles a week consistently again. If you’re used to running 3 – 4 times a week then also continue with this routine and reduce the intensity.
We’re also due to take part in the Ride 100 London event so the aim is to build up the time and frequency of being on the turbo/bike. Last week I did one half hour session so this week I’m going to aim for 2 x 30 minute sessions. The idea is to not overload the body too quickly, but at a steady and gradual pace.
I’m also hoping to use this time to take part in some virtual yoga sessions and do more stretching and rehab work. It’s important to use this time positively, productive and constructively.
So, my advice is to stick with the frequency of runs per week but reduce the intensity of your training. Add in additional strength and cross training sessions where you can and essentially enjoy your training! Run for the opportunity to be outside and include the routes and runs in your week that you love.
Embrace the time we have to exercise and allow it to create some structure and fun into your routine. Search for that runners high and look for those endorphins.
To also help with this, I’ve just launched the Running Hub. An online hub for runners to form a community. With additional benefits such as 3 live workouts per week, live Q&A sessions, recipes and rehab guidance. We’re focusing on those neglected areas to help you become a stronger and more efficient runner. You can find out more here – www.cleancoachkatie.com/the-running-hub
Happy Training All.
Let me know what you’re doing this period for training!