Finding races over the past year has been very strange. Some have kept their dates. Some have shifted to different seasons. Some have capped numbers, while others have opted for altered courses and wave starts. Some have cancelled altogether and have offered deferrals for 2021. Some 2021 races are ALREADY shifting and deferring! Training for a moving target can be pretty tricky. However, there are some basic training elements that everyone can follow to stay fit and be ready to give a solid effort when the opportunity does arise. The winter/early spring seasons, when the race scene would be naturally low on options in any non-pandemic year, presents a great time to begin building (or REbuilding) a solid base for the late spring and summer seasons. Some things every runner should be doing during this time include…
- Mobility work: This includes focused stretching, as well as rolling and massage. Yoga routines work well here too.
- Strength work: Everyone has different preferences here. Whether it be iron or body weight, do some research and refine your routine.
- Increase your long run: Add a mile or two a week to your long run until it’s the desired distance. This depends on the races you’ll be doing. An accepted rule for weekly long runs is that they should be roughly 25% of your total weekly mileage. Marathon training is obviously an exception here.
- Hit the hills! Don’t shy away from them on regular runs. They build strength, physical AND mental.
Most importantly, never be afraid to ask for help. The running community is full of awesome people that are willing to share their knowledge and experience. I am always blown away by the willingness of seasoned runners in our community to share their experiences in an effort to help a fellow runner in any way possible, especially if that runner is new to the sport. There is truly a sense of camaraderie in our running community, and a shared desire for seeing others achieve their respective goals. Never be afraid to ask questions, no matter how simplistic they may seem. Running can be an incredibly complicated sport despite the “it’s just one foot in front of the other” perception. If you’re looking to connect with other runners, the best place to start would be the “Group Runs” page on the YRRC website. You’ll notice that the majority of the runs there are TRAIL runs, but don’t let that scare you away! The trail running community is especially welcoming, and spending time in the woods is a wonderful reprieve from the digital world we’ve been forced into over the last year.
Here’s to warmer weather and longer days ahead!