When preparing for a running race, many factors need to be considered in order to be able to run to your full potential. In this article, we explain what steps you can take to make the preparation phase as effective as possible.
Create a plan
Of course, it is important for runners not to act haphazardly when training, but to think about which training sessions make sense at which time. This also applies if you do not want to rely on a personal coach, but plan your training yourself. There are a few points to consider:
- Depending on the current training level and the goal of the race, this point becomes even more important: start specific training early enough (depending on the distance of the race, this means between 2 and 6 months before the start). In this blog post you can find out more information about the preparation time needed for different race distances.
- Try to do at least one intense training session per week (if you do 5 or more sessions per week, you can easily do two intense sessions) and one long training session per week, and complement this with endurance and recovery runs. It is important to vary the duration and intensity of training.
- Spread the key sessions (intense running and long jogs) over the week. In between, you can alternate the rest of the workouts.
- Try to vary the amount of effort in different weeks (periodisation), i.e. do not carry the same workload every week. For more details, check out this blog post: Training periodisation – how to build your top form.
- What applies to training weeks also applies to individual training sessions. Vary the type of intense running (short/long intervals) and long running (length of long run) from one week to the next in order to stress the body with different stimuli.
If you want the plan to automatically adapt to your running goal and personal performance, on running.COACH you can create an individual training plan in just a few minutes.
Plan also preparation races and fitness tests
Regular fitness checks and preparation races can contribute to success on X-day. It’s not just about getting fit or gaining the necessary stamina, but intensive races also ensure that the training plan is always well-tuned. The running.COACH training plan automatically adapts to the athlete’s performance, but fitness checks serve as a guarantee.
For more information on how to plan your preparation races, consult the link.
Listen to your body and plan recovery days
This advice may sound like an empty phrase. Like the advice to drink enough in hot weather. But listening to your body is incredibly important. Because neither a personal coach nor a training plan can listen to your body and ‘stop’ you in time when a critical limit is reached.
The key to successful race preparation lies largely in continuity. The fewer days of illness and injury there are, the higher the probability of reaching the goal. Overuse injuries can be avoided relatively easily in the early stages, but are often difficult to overcome if they are recognised too late.
Adjust your training accordingly as soon as you feel tired for several days or other physical problems occur. Add an extra day of rest, switch to an alternative sport or reduce the intensity of training – there are many different ways to get there.
Vary your training routes and running shoes
There are several reasons why it is advisable to vary running shoes and training laps:
- Injury prevention: by varying your running shoes and training laps, you can distribute the load on different muscles, joints and ligaments, reducing the risk of injury.
- Performance improvement: By changing running shoes and training routes, you can target different movement patterns and muscle groups, improving overall running performance.
- Avoiding boredom: As your training progresses, motivation will become an important component in achieving your goal. If you always train on the same routes in front of the house, you may lose motivation. Therefore, reward yourself with good running routes and increase your motivation to train.