Running tip #12
Let’s get down to some nitty gritty. The shortest distance between two points is a straight line, yes? So, before you set off on your fitness journey you must first decide where it is you want to go. Point A is where you are now. Point B is where you hope to be 13 weeks from now. Like the wise men, you must locate the star before you can find your way to Bethlehem. Is your goal to run 3 miles without stopping (a la Mizz Frances)? Is it to to exercise 30 minutes 5 days a week for aerobic health? Do you want to run the mile in under 5:00 or qualify for Boston in the marathon? Choose your goal, then count back 13 weeks from that date for your first workout on a Monday. If your “Bethlehem” is The Tarheel 10-miler, for instance, on April 18th, you should do your first “real” workout on Monday, January 18th to get the necessary 3 full months of training in. I do not mention “13 weeks” arbitrarily. Throughout my racing career, I adhered to the concept of periodization in training; 13 weeks is exactly one season (52 weeks in a year). Each season was dedicated to a different element of my year-round training and racing plan: summer was mileage-focused, fall was for hills/ strength, winter was speed endurance, and spring was for race-pace intervals and racing. I had two peaks a year: one for cross-country and one for track. However, for the purposes of this post (running tip #12), let’s just look at one 13-week segment. Pick your point B.