Gearing Up for Spring Runs
Gearing Up for Spring Runs
Okay, SOME days (especially mornings), spring seems like it’s about three months away. It’s hard to believe, that in reality, it’s less than a month away (on the calendar, at least).
Now, of course, for some, March is really the month that mother nature says, “What? Didn’t get enough snow this winter? Awwww . . ., here’s a foot of it for you to enjoy . . . right now.” But for the most part, the snow comes and it also can disappear within a few days (okay, maybe a week : ), too.
BUT no matter what, what IS happening right now is that days are getting noticeably longer, temps are starting to rise (overall), and VERY soon, those ideal running temperatures will be greeting you as you walk out the door. So, if you’re looking to set some PRs or shake off the “winter pace,” now’s the time to start working some speedwork into your training.
Speedwork can be as fun or as torturous as you want to make it. The fun ways for me are fartleks (picking up the pace for a minute or so, then settling back down into a comfortable pace to recover and then repeat) as well as hill running (simply trying to maintain my pace while running up fairly long and steeper hills . . . 200 meters or longer). Now, for those who like to do track workouts, there’s always the ladder runs done typically done faster than race pace. 5Kers something like 200-400-600-600-400-200 is a good idea place to start (working up to 800s); 10Kers same starting point, but working up to 1200s; and marathoners, same start, but working up to a mile or more as your top distance.
But here’s the deal with speedwork. If you push yourself so you’re hitting certain “pre-determined” splits so you can run a certain pace in a race, that’s fine as long as it’s fun for you to do that. But if you’re tasting blood, your lungs are screaming, and your last steps are staggering as you’re forcing yourself through a speedwork session (and you’re likely feeling like garbage the rest of the day), it’s only a matter of time before 1) You get injured; 2) You quit running.
Unless you’re getting paid big time to run, as in it’s your job/career, the focus should be on making running fun. If you get better at it while having fun, EXCELLENT . . ., when running is fun, it’s not a “have to,” but a “get to” run . . . because once you start looking at workouts with dread, no matter your physical capabilities, the mental will almost always win out becausse who wants to sacrifice (get up early, for example) to do things they dread?
Well, I hope you’re all looking forward to spring and the races that it brings.
Have an awesome run today!