Your race season!

31 Jan

Your Race season

Whether you’re an age grouper or an elite athlete and the beginning of every year you have to lay out your season look at the calendar and think what is going to me my few key goal races? And what will be my tune up races or my races just to go out and have fun. It can be very hard to attack each race as an “A” race a race you expect to PR at so you need to be OK with having some slower times once in awhile and using those races as a way to measure your fitness and things that you can improve upon for when the goal race comes up you are ready!

The mental game is huge during the season and this is why I think it’s good to focus on only a couple key races each year and the others become measuring sticks to help you fine tune your training to be ready on the day of the goal event. So keeping your mind focused and that main goal if you have a bad race at this tune up event is key!! I have been there before and know many athletes who have. We feel well trained and the body feels good we show up at this race which is not the focus event on the calendar but we still want to do well and see where we are at. Something happens during the race and our time reflects a so/so finish and then the mind games start and we stress about it and let it affect us too much. Instead we need to let it go learn from it and move on put it in the past. When we become confident enough to do this when we hit that point that mentally we are able to learn, forget and move on then we have reached a great place within ourselves. Racing is just not a sound and strong body but it’s a sound and strong mind and I would venture to say the mind needs to be stronger than the body.

I break up my season into segments for races and training. Typically the first half of the year if more focused on running because my “A” race is the Boston marathon however I keep a very good balance of cycling and swimming in there as well. I’m a huge believer of cross training and even if you’re focus is running you must cross train and to me cycling is one of the best things to do for cardio strength, and to just active and use different muscles. Then after Boston I get more focused on my Triathlon season and start to even out the swim, bike, run workouts and focus on transitions, doing more brick type workouts etc… By mid-summer I’m still in full on Triathlon race season but now I also switch a little focus back to marathon running to prepare for a fall marathon. So now my training looks a little more like it did the first part of the year but still maintain a very good balance of swim and bike workouts as well. After the fall marathon and my race season is done I move into the “fun” phase. I take this time to recover enjoy rest days but also just enjoy running and cycling for fun. No hard workouts, I don’t worry about mileage or pace or any of that I just put on the shoes and run to stay fit. I really do a lot of trail running during this time. That’s pretty much how my year lays out think about how your year lays out? Think about what the goal races are? What the tune up races? And what races you do just for fun and don’t care about the end result. Which I highly suggest doing some races just for fun. Maybe you have a friend who is not as fast as you are and you could run with them for an event help them through it, maybe you run a 5k with your kids? That is my single most fun race of my season every year when I run 5k’s with my daughter Bella. If you are not exposing your kids to fitness and taking them running and biking and trying to be active with them like this you are missing the boat!

As I talked about throughout this blog how to set up a season let me give you a quick example. Let’s say the “A” goal race is a marathon typically this is a 16-18 week training cycle to prepare for the marathon and say about week 10/11 of the training cycle there is a 10 mile or half marathon event you can do. I suggest you do it and this becomes a “B” race this is that event that yes we want to do well at but more importantly we want to learn from it. We want to test ourselves see how our fitness is and see what mistakes we make and what things we need to improve upon to be ready for the marathon the goal event. This is also that race that if things fall apart and don’t go so well that we need to move on quickly from and get right back into our training and keep out focus.

So 2012 is here and race season is fast upon us! If you are running Boston we are 11 weeks away which means its game time! Get your focus stick to your plan follow your coaches’ orders and nail that goal on race day.

Don’t over train and don’t race to much be safe and take care of that body so you can keep doing this for years to come.

Cheers and best of luck this season
Coach MB

Beautiful weather here in Minnesota!! Jan. 30th I got out and ran 6 miles in the fresh air it was amazing then went and coached a group of runners on the track for a nice workout that everyone nailed and did amazing at! I got another 4.5 miles of running there which gave me a 10.5 mile day of running on Monday and I also taught brick class at 5:30am which gave me 45 minutes of hard cycling intervals. I have another 10 mile run planned for today after a Real Estate closing.

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