A few observations/comments during these testing times:
There are no races on the horizon for several months so it is hard to focus on anything in particular. This could be a time, therefore, to actually plan some structured training as per the coaching manuals for once.
As a road running and XC club many of us are normally racing most weeks and find it difficult to actually train for a particular race or period of racing a few months ahead. The only programmes I have been asked to help with in the past are 16 week programmes for the Spring or Autumn marathons.
As Coaches we are shown how to develop 6 monthly (macrocycle) plans and within these to develop 4 week plans (mesocycle) and weekly (microcycle) plans to bring an athlete into peak performance for a racing period in 6 months time. Typically the first two months consist of “general” training (drills, tempo, slow runs, fartlek, conditioning etc.), the next two months on specific training (reps, hills, longer runs, etc), and the last stage on specific training for the target event (s), specific reps building up by week, 5k races (when available), longer runs etc. Running faster is like baking a cake correctly, you need all the ingredients in the correct quantity and mixed correctly.
If anyone is interested in a bespoke 6 month plan for them please let me know. Stewart, Stef or I can discuss with you to develop one (although Stef is probably tied up at the moment with her work in the community)..
You have probably noticed when you go out for your one exercise a day, the number of runners around at the moment, presumably due to the many people that are not at work in the day and are taking the chance to catch up on some training. Because you are only allowed out once, it is tempting to make this a reasonable distance/fast run every day. However, it is important to get some “rest” days in as this is how your muscles improve. Rest days can of course be cycling (or indoor cycling for me), a long aerobics or Pilates session in the house or garden. Please don’t be tempted to go from running 3 times a week to 7 days a week or you will end up getting injured and running no days a week.
I will post my weekly faster day training challenge in the next few days and provide a weekly coaching and training bulletin. Let me know if you want anything specific any week.
Finally, my additional challenge for the next 3 weeks is: –
• Stand on one leg for thirty seconds, with the other leg lifted high and bent at the knee (with or without your hands out wide for balance).
• Repeat on the opposite leg
• Repeat this daily for 3 weeks and extend the time each day by 5 seconds.
I think you all have time to fit this in, it just needs a routine to add it every day to everything else. I will ask at the end of the three weeks how your balance may have improved, but check this before you start on the wine.
Stay safe and enjoy your running be it on or off road, quick or slow, early or late…