Coach Mike Mead

July 2009

The Run

Well, here it is July! It’s hot. It’s humid. Not ideal weather for running.

You may be reading this after July Fourth and the annual Peachtree Road Race which is a yearly highlight for many runners. For some runners, it’s a point in their season to take a break from their training and racing to re-focus. Not a bad time in the running year to re-examine your goals or try something new since it is so miserably warm!

Well, what are you looking for from your running? Hopefully, you have been keeping a training log. I have used this space many times in the past how a training log is critical for those runners who are on their own, so to speak, who are running without the guidance of a coach.

As the Good Book states, you sow what you reap! So, what has your training been like since the start of the year? Did you run the mileage in the past six months that supported the distances you have raced? If you ran 20 miles a week six January, but racing marathons, you do not have a very good training base to experience successful racing results.

I have observed that many runners do not do adequate base mileage. Even for those running 5K’s and 10K’s, your weekly mileage needs to be over 40 miles a week during the building phase (first six to eight weeks of training in a 16-week cycle) in order to achieve successful results.

Have you been satisfied with your racing the past six months? How many races have you run during this time? You want to keep a balance in your training and racing. There are mainly two groups of runners; those who race too much and those who do not race enough. It all goes back to one’s training.

Some folks like to race. There are those who race weekly and those who race two and three times per week! If you are doing some serious training on top of that, you just might be doing too much and not getting the necessary recovery your body needs in order to race at a high level.

If you do not race enough, you may not capitalize on the training you have been doing. It all depends on the intensity and frequency of your workouts. High-level runners may average a race a month during the course of a calendar year. It all depends on your goals.

That’s right, what are your goals? You may be keeping a training log, but if you are running without some sort of guidelines, how do you know you are making personal advances. Are you challenging yourself?

If you do not feel you are making gains in your running, you need to do an honest self-evaluation of your training and be willing to make some changes in your training methods. Maybe you just need to run more. Perhaps you need to do more speed training. How about paying more attention to details like core strength, flexibility, diet and rest?

There are a lot of adjustments you can make at this point in your training and see some results before the end of the year. We runners are creatures of habit. You just have to be willing to try something different with your running. Sow and ye shall reap!