Running for a Season

Running for a SeasonOne of the common mistakes new runners make is to run aimlessly all year round. Unfortunately, our bodies and minds don’t work that way. We make the biggest improvements by focusing on shorter concentrated efforts (seasons) focused around a specific goal.

In running, this means choosing a “championship” race that fits your goals as well as several “regular season” races for practice. Many runners choose 2 championship races per year, as well as 4 to 6 build-up races during the 3 months before each championship. In this scenario the championship races would be ideally about 6 months apart with a 3 month “off-season” between racing seasons.

Choosing a Championship Race
It’s important to find a championship race that presents some sort of challenge. This could mean a race you’re striving to win, a course with challenging terrain, a fast course to help you run a personal best, or perhaps just a distance farther than you’ve raced before. No matter your goal, it’s important to choose a race that will inspire you to train hard and stay motivated.

Choosing a Race Schedule
During your season it is important to practice running hard to prepare for your big day. If your championship race is your first marathon, you may want to start with a 5k, then move up to 10k, 10 miles, and Half Marathon. Or, if you’re training for a 5k, you may want to race mostly 5k’s with a 10k for a challenge.

The Off-Season
After a big race it’s important to take time to let your body recover from the stress. It’s also a good time to take a few days (or weeks) off then focus on rehab for injuries, easy running, fewer workouts, and core. Remember how much fun it is to run and start dreaming about your next goal!


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