Happy 2016 to all.
Here's hoping that you remain healthy and that personal bests dominate your year.
So, at the risk of sounding redundant, I'm going to offer what I think are six tips that will guide you toward a successful running year of 2016.
1. WRITE THIS DOWN-Fans of country music will recognize this phrase as the title of a George Strait song. First, my apologies to Mr. Strait for borrowing his title, but if you've followed my blog you already know that I believe it is essential to keep an accurate log of your workouts. I've done so for forty years. Write your workouts in a log/date book, on your computer, or on a calendar. Write a Russian novel, or keep it brief. However you choose to do it, writing it down allows you to study what works and what doesn't work for you, why you ran great or poorly, and any changes in workouts that may have caused you injury.
2. SPEED-We all love to get out there to take in the scenery, listen to music, or enjoy a workout with friends. But, once a week, on weeks when you're not racing, go to your local track or stay on the road, and run something fast. Intervals or tempo runs are fine, but if you want to race faster, speed work is a must.
3. GO LONG-Whether you are planning to run a 5K or a marathon, a weekly long run is essential. If you're running a 5K, your long run may be 6-8 miles; whereas for a marathon it could be 20 miles. (but not every week) Now here's the key. LSD, long, slow distance, is meaningless. Make your long runs count. If you are aiming to run a race at an 8:00 pace, run your long runs at an 8:30-8:45 pace. Long, slow distance makes long, slow runners.
4. PUMP IT UP-Running is great from the waist down. Too many runners, however, neglect their upper bodies. Two or three times a week, design a 20-30 minute upper body lifting regimen that features low weight and high repetitions. Build strength, not bulk, so when your legs tire, your upper body can carry the day.
5. SAVE YOUR MONEY-Stop racing so much!! Your body needs time to heal. If your goal is to run more races than anyone else, by all means, race every weekend. But if you like EARNING your hardware, by winning age group awards or more, then target and select your races and make them count. Quality, not quantity goes the distance.
6. ENJOY-Run a beer race, crawl under the barbed wire, dress in a tutu, do a zombie run. Keep it fun. Does this contradict the aforementioned Rule #5? Not at all. Select your races, but keep your running fun. Go to big races, but support small races. Both in training and racing, keep it fun, and you will enjoy this sport for a long, long time.
These are six general principals upon which I base my training and yours. If you desire a specific training plan, check out the service I provide on my website: www.muldowneyrunning.net, or check out Fiverr: www.fiverr.com, go to Lifestyle, and type in 'Running Shorts," and I can develop a plan just for you. Be sure to check out the reviews.
Make 2016 the year of your 'Personal Best.'