As the year is rounding out (isn’t that a crazy thought!), now it the perfect time to start thinking about what type of running season you want to have next year. Now is the time to start thinking about some long term training goals, because starting early can only help set you up for success. Whether you want to run one mile, or a marathon, going at your training with a big picture plan is helpful. Here is how I am breaking down my race plan for 2019 and how I am going about planning my season:
- Start with the big goal and work backwards
The easiest way to plan a running season and distance running training is to start by finding your race, then working backwards in planning out your training. If you want to run a marathon in October, start at the race day and plan all of your long runs in backwards from that date, leaving extra wiggle room for times you might have to skip training. Having a main goal in mind when you start planning the year gives you focus, drive, and purpose. Try a destination race, or a new distance. New year, new goals, right?
- Plan check in goals
Now that you have that big main goal picked out, it’s time to create check in points. You can’t expect yourself to just show up in October marathon ready? You need to make sure you hit each distance checkpoint, schedule in strength training, make sure you are working on speed regularly. Make sure that your season includes steps that will help you reach the ultimate destination.
- Focus on where you struggled last year
Now that you have the main goal picked out, all the checkpoints labeled, now it’s time to go through your training plan and highlight all the workouts for next year that you struggled in this year. Once they are highlighted, prioritize them. If you could do the long run no problem, but anything involving speed killed you a bit, make sure your speed workouts are the most important workouts of your week. Maybe even add a few shorter distance races into your season to make sure you are really focusing in on those weaknesses and turning them into your strengths. Becoming a well rounded runner is so important, especially as you increase distance, to make sure your body is strong and in proper shape.
- Make sure when you look at your goals, you get excited
Last, but certainly not least, make sure your upcoming season gets you excited! Yes, setting new goals can be intimidating, but just think of how great you will feel once you reach them! If you planned out your season correctly, you should look at your calendar for next year and get so pumped about the season that is about to unfold. You have prepped all of the necessary steps, now you just have to go do it!