Coach Mike Mead


Move It or Lose It!

We are entering a challenging time of the year for runners who try to maintain their fitness and perhaps improve on their conditioning.† When it is all said and done, if you donít move it, youíll lose it!

The weather is getting colder.† There is less daylight to run in, particularly if you prefer training in the mornings.† There are also the Holidays that take up the last couple of weeks of the month and disrupt the normal routine.† Oh, donít forget the Holidays mean access to more rich food than one may normally be exposed to.† For the unmotivated runner, these issues can become major obstacles.

Whatís a serious runner to do?† The key is to stay on course; have a detailed training plan and stick to it!

So the weather is turning colder.† What a better time to increase your mileage and not get drained by the heat and humidity of summer.† Heck, if you have to put on more clothes to run, might as well put in the time!† On those days you deem it too cold to run, try going at the warmest time of the day.† During the Holidays, your schedule should be more flexible to accommodate your runs to take advantage of the colder temperatures.

Perhaps a bigger challenge for runners this time of year is the fewer hours of daylight.† Safety should be a concern, particularly being visible to motorists.† Also running in areas with poor lighting can be a hazard.† It took me six months to heal my knee from a spill I took running in poor lighting last March.

If you must run in the dark, wear reflective clothing, carry a flashlight, and seek out routes that have adequate lighting.† Again, if you are flexible, get in your run when the sun is up, or at least run when you can see where you are going and be seen.

If you are a social animal, chances are you will have a list of Holiday parties, get-togethers and family obligations that could limit your time Ė IF you allow it!† If you have a serious training plan in place, you should be able to train and enjoy the Holidays.† Just canít say youíll enjoy your weird cousin, though.

Perhaps the most challenging Holiday obstacle for a runner is the food.† Think of all the cookies, pies, fruit cake, egg nog and the like, oh man!† If you are logging in the miles, then you will be okay.† Just do not overindulge and donít try eating everything!† However, if you cut back your training and miles, the consequences could be a few extra pounds that will affect your training when you resume your routine.

If you want to make gains in your running, I recommend at least maintaining your weekly mileage.† I donít recommend cutting back on your running this time of year, despite the perceived challenges.† Unless you are battling an injury or illness, or encounter extreme weather issues like a blizzard or ice storm, I advise to go full-steam ahead with your training!

If you need support, find a coach, running buddy, or an accountability partner (parent, spouse, friend, etc.) to get you through those challenging days.† If you have a coach or running buddy, you wonít stand them up if you agree to meet daily.† An accountability partner will keep you on task, or gently nag you if you the motivation is needed.

Take control and keep it moving!