Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Most of the snow in most of the country is gone. High school and college track teams are preparing for their upcoming seasons. The Boston Marathon is less than a month away. Marathon season is on the horizon for many competitors.

March is a frenetic month.

In many ways it is a month of evaluation. We begin to test ourselves. It is time to race again. Time to hit the track and see how much speed remains in our legs after a winter of slogging around.

Some runners have already turned a race or a few. This weekend, 28,000 runners participated in the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon and Half Marathon in Virginia Beach. Two weeks ago, on the west coast, 40,000 runners braved oven-like conditions at the Los Angeles Marathon.

It's time to break out and get crazy.

Spring is here and it's a time of renewal for us.

Time to set those goals for the new racing year, but more than that, it's time to work on ways to achieve those goals.

Here are a few suggestions.

--Assess your needs-Do you "die" in the last miles of your races? If so, work on your stamina. Add some miles to your week, but make them "quality" miles. Simply, run faster on your training runs. Add some hills to increase your stamina.

--Pete McGuirk passed me in the last mile again!--You need to get to the track! If you're getting outsprinted, you must work on your leg speed. Interval workouts are essential to successful racing, at any distance.

--Set up your business plan--I'm talking about the business of racing. If you're running a marathon in the spring, pour your efforts into that endeavor. After a month of recovery, it's time to refocus. Perhaps you should run a few 5K's during the summer, and then look at a fall marathon.

--Don't overrace--Quality, not quantity here.

--Enjoy the ride--Go on vacation. make sure you run while you're there, but during that week, have fun with the spouse and kids, relax, let things heal up, and return home rested and re-energized.

So, "March" into this season with renewed vigor and lofty goals.

You'll be "mad" if you don't.