Small Tweaks I’m Making This Season to Run PRs
I’m so, so happy with the progress I made in my running last summer and fall. I ran personal bests in every distance from 10K to marathon and achieved my long-held goal of qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials. But you know all of that already…
As I mentioned after CIM, there were some important things that I did differently in that training cycle that I know made a world of difference in my fitness and performance. I’m really glad that I took the time at the beginning of CIM training to identify those things that I needed to incorporate in order to run faster that cycle. I believe that a really important part of each training cycle is to look back at is as a whole, assessing what worked and addressing areas where you could improve. It’s impossible to improve if you just keep doing things the same way cycle after cycle and year after year. What’s that saying…?
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
That being said – after CIM I took some time to look back at my cycle and identified some areas of improvement for myself. In order to continue improving and hopefully hit my goals for the spring season I’m going to work on making the following tweaks…
BE MORE INTENTIONAL ABOUT MY NUTRITION
By no means was my nutrition bad during CIM, but there were definitely areas that I could improve. I’m hoping to be good about meal planning and prepping so that I can be fueling my body what it needs to perform at it’s best. Just to be clear – this isn’t about eating less or eating “cleaner” it’s just about being prepared and making sure to get in more nutrients!
GET IN A STRENGTH TRAINING ROUTINE
My strength training during my CIM build-up was mostly just a little bit of core and my mini-band exercises. I know that I need to be better about strength training if I want to hit my goals this season. Running-specific strength training is extremely important in the shorter, faster distances that I’m going to be racing this season. I’ve been doing pretty well with this so far this season and I promise to share some of my workouts as the season progresses.
STRETCH/FOAM ROLL MORE OFTEN
I’m busy, there’s always something else to get to after my runs but I have to be better about slowing down and building time in in my schedule to stretch and foam roll after runs and workouts.
PRACTICE RACE DAY FUELING
My performance at CIM has opened a lot of racing opportunities for me that will allow me to have my own fluids on the course on race day. This is exciting because at CIM I had to make do with the course fuel, but it also means that I have to get my act together and figure out what works the best for me and my stomach and then practice, practice practice taking bottles on long runs and workouts!
INCREASE MY TRAINING VOLUME
In my build up to CIM I peaked with one 80 mile week. It obviously worked great but I can’t help but wonder if having more miles in my legs would have made the last 6 miles of the race easier… or at least prolonged the inevitable pain that came at the end. I spoke with Henri and my coach about the benefits of increasing my mileage and the potential downside, but in the end we are going to bump up my average running volume by about 10 miles/week. I want to be really strategic though with how I increase my training volume though – I’m going to be playing close attention to my body and the level of fatigue it is feeling/how I’m recovering. If things are off or I don’t feel good on the higher mileage we will scale things back down.
I also plan on increasing my training volume by adding in cross training. I don’t think I did a single cross training session in my build up to CIM so there is a lot of room for improvement here. I don’t like cross-training just for cross training sake so I will be incorporating activities that are directly beneficial to running – like aqua jogging, swimming and Elliptigo-ing.
DO FEWER WORKOUTS ON THE TREADMILL
A lot of times I had to do my workouts for CIM on a treadmill but sometimes I just chose the treadmill over outside because it was the easier choice (didn’t have to worry about bathrooms, water, what loop might work, crossing streets, etc.). This training cycle I want to be better about choosing to go outside for my workouts as often as possible!
If you were to analyze your most recent racing season what improvements would you make going forward?
*the pictures in this post were taken my Caroline Winn Photography back in 2014.