Training a

Training After a One Year Hiatus

by Sara on September 19, 2016

This is Ralph.  {The husband remember?}  Ralph has been training smart and consistently all summer.  He has a great aerobic base and can now begin to sharpen his running to prep for fall 5ks.  Ralph is going to kick this running season in the a$$.

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This is Sara.  Sara hasn’t trained seriously for a race of any distance in just about a year.  She has been doing yoga, spinning, hiking and most recently weight lifting.  She has worked hard to achieve a steady work/life/fitness balance and is finally settling in to a consistent routine.  However she is NOT really in any kind of shape to be racing this fall.  {and yet she just decided to run a 5k in a few weeks.  She’s getting really good at selfies though that matters right?}

Me very much not trainingDon’t be like Sara.  Be like Ralph.  Run smart and consistently all year so that when fall comes around you aren’t suddenly cramming for all the races that are sure to pop up on your calendar.

Here’s the thing though.  There are probably more Sara’s than Ralph’s out there and right about now they’re looking for advice.  So from the girl who hasn’t had a training plan for anything in a very VERY long time I’m about to give you some of my best tips.

Take it Slow.
My weekly mileage is going to max out at a whopping 12 miles a week and you know what, there is nothing wrong with that.  You cannot expect to go from 0-100 in two or three weeks time so be sure to look at the time you have and make a realistic plan to accomplish your goal.

Be flexible.
I wrote out an insanely detailed training plan, and then five minutes later I promptly changed it.  And then before the night was over I had changed it again.  Be flexible, and listen to your body.  It’s cheesy but it’s true.  Maybe you thought you could handle more mileage or less rest days but when you try to execute your body says no.  Listen to it!

Cross training matters.
Ok so you can’t go straight into running four or five days a week but you can mix it up with cross training.  Ride a bike, take a spin class, swim, dance etc. just do something that’s NOT running.  Yes, you heard me, not running.  I’m so over the advice that the only way to get better at running is more running.  More running is not going to help you if you’re hurt again so go easy on your body and mix it up.  It might take a little longer to reach your goals but you will find you have less setbacks and that will benefit you more in the long run.

Be realistic about your goals.
With a little over a month to train for a 5k race, my only goal this time around is to build some steady mileage and let my body adapt to running again.  I have a very conservative plan in place and it includes about zero percent speed work.  I know I am not going to come close to my PR from years ago when I was training all the time.  And how could I expect that.  I’m just happy to be running pain and injury free and excited to see where this journey takes me.  If you haven’t been running in weeks or months come up with a realistic goal.  If you think you are setting your sights too high consider picking a new goal race.

So how was your summer, did you train like Ralph or did you train like me?

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jamie v hershbeger September 19, 2016 at 9:10 pm

Hi there ,well my summer was not good after July 4th about month later I had a medial meniscus tear in my cartilage in my knee cap, I just got done with surgery last monday,so I’m going though PT.so 6 to 8 weeks befor I can run.I saw your advice on going slow and steady on getting back to running so I am going to use your method.hopfully by Turkey day I can run in a Turkey trot 5k.
Glad to see you running again.

Sara September 21, 2016 at 7:53 pm

Yes there is no need to rush. There will always be a next race & being healthy for the long term is so important. Good luck with your recovery!

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