Written by Bethany Thompson, run coach at Persistent Running
“Running is such an awesome sport, because it really is so forgiving. You can take years off and, through a lot of hard effort, get back into it. The one thing I’ve found through my running journey is that running is always there for me, whether through a pregnancy, injury, or time off, I have always been able to come back and gain more fitness with each comeback season.
The biggest piece of advice I would give any runner to bring into their 2019 season is be CONSISTENT.
Consistency is the magic ingredient that every runner is wanting. If you bring consistency into your training through all of 2019, I promise you, you will see improvement.
If you are a newer runner, start with only 3 days of running minimally a week (I would also recommend those days to be spread apart if possible, such as a MON/WED/FRI approach). If you are a seasoned runner, consider adding an additional day of running. If you are running 4 days a week, consider adding a 5th day of running. Even little adjustments in a training plan, make a big difference.
Also, if you are not doing strength training, please DO. Strength training (among other numerous benefits) builds lean muscle mass, adds more resistance to injuries, and helps runner’s become more well-rounded athletes. Runner’s tend to be weak in the glutes and hips and most lower leg injuries stem straight from weak hips/glutes muscles. By adding, runner specific strength work to a runner’s regime, they are more likely to stay injury free and become stronger, more athletic runners (which in turn does impact speed/endurance.)
Another vital component to getting ready for 2019 running season is making sure you know how to plan a week out for your running. Runner’s should have a plan that includes 80% easy miles (which is how you can increase your training log while still avoiding injury and burnout) and 20% speed work. Every runner’s speed work will look different (because each athlete is unique) so avoid falling into the trap of doing what everyone else does. Know your body and run mostly slow through the week, while challenging your cardiovascular fitness with some shorter, speedier workouts during the week (usually 1-2 quality sessions per week dependent on the athlete).
Lastly, remember progress doesn’t happen over night, but through season up season, year upon year of dedicated training.
Results won’t happen over night, but it is what we do each day that determines our performance as athletes.
A few last pieces of advice:
- Cultivate a long-term vision for your running (where do you want to be in 6 months, 12 months, 2 years, etc.
- Stay consistent with a solid training plan, build a solid foundation.
- Find a training plan or a coach or a friend who will help you gradually progress by starting with right where you are. Don’t just jump into something because it was on an program. Know where you are at with your fitness, train where you are at, and gradually add stresses into your training to improve performance (I.e. speed work/longer runs/lifting etc.)
- Focus on tomorrows run. Run for tomorrow, don’t do something that will stop you from running tomorrow. (I.e. don’t injure yourself by pushing through pain)
Your time will come friend. Remain patient and stay consistent!
Check out Bethany’s post on how to stay consistent through the tough winter training season.
Bethany Thompson is the founder and run coach at Persistent Running. She passionate about inspiring other’s, helping athletes accomplish goals they never thought possible and dreaming big. Persistent Running is dedicated to helping runner’s attain their goals, through a smarter, not harder approach to training. Bethany believes that life is too short to not work to be the best you can be and at Persistent Running, our goal is just that – persistently pursuing your BEST self through one on one, athletic specific coaching.” You can find more of Bethany and Persistent Running at https://www.persistentrunning.com