As the New Year approaches, take the opportunity to assess your strengths and weaknesses by looking over your training log. (You are keeping track of what you have done in the past, right? If not, that’s Resolution #1 for 2017: enter the time and distance of every run in a training log within 24 hours of completing the run.)
A year-end review can be very illuminating. I, for instance, fell short of my fall racing goals –– I was slower than I planned to be. To determine why, I took a look at my training log and realized that my overall miles decreased quite a bit during several weeks in August and this was accompanied by a complete lack of any speed work –– whoops. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have been surprised that my time results weren’t optimal; considering how I prepared, I hadn’t done that badly.
This is why it is important to keep track of what you are doing. When it comes to logging your runs, the more information, the better. Time and distance are basic measures, but it’s also helpful to record weather conditions, type of shoe, type of workout, and other details (“wicked hills. Shoot me now.”) that can call to mind a particular moment in training.
If, after looking over your past training, you are still wondering why things happened the way they did, it can be useful to have someone else look over your training. Another perspective can also be useful when it comes to setting and achieving your goals. And by “another perspective” I mean coaching. Sometimes it is necessary to get some professional help to help you progress.
Luckily, Fleet Feet Albany and Malta has a variety of targeted training programs to help you achieve your goals in 2017. This is the time of year to sign up: Are you relatively new to running and need some help getting ready for your first race? Try the beginners 5K program –– in just ten weeks you’ll be crossing that finish line and feeling great. Have you caught the running bug and want to get faster, but are unsure about how to go about it? Sign up for the 5K advanced/10K program. If you are looking for longer challenges, check out the half-marathon/marathon program. All of these programs offer top-notch, certified coaches who will make sure that all of your training is working towards a specific purpose.
This is really one of the great advantages of professional coaching: reassuring yourself that everything you are doing is helping you to achieve your goal. How many times, for example, have you told yourself that you were going to go out and do some speed work, decided that “perhaps today isn’t the day” and just went for a run, instead? Not only will some coaching take the guess work out of training on your own, but you will be running with other program members and we all know that it is easier to do more difficult running –– speed work and hills –– in a group. Here’s the link for further details about the upcoming Fleet Feet Distance Project training programs for 2017: www.fleetfeetalbany.com/pages/fleet-feet-distance-project
As we enter 2017, do some assessing of 2016, set some clearly articulated and incremental goals, get some professional coaching, and prepare for success –– however you choose to define it –– in 2017. Do you have some running goals for the new year? Tell us all about them in the comments.