Let’s recap what we’ve looked at in planning for a successful 2014 race season.

1) Focusing on the present and the process
2) How to pick goals and races
3) What is limiting your performance

Armed with these three posts as tools, we are now ready to go forward and crush 2014 with a vengeance.

But, (I can see you now) how do we put that information into practice??

Okay, so you are now armed with:

1) Your ideal race schedule (From Part 2)
2) How to keep focus on the present and what to focus on (From Part 1)
3) What you need to improve in your training to be better (From Part 3)

Now comes the hardest part – combining it all together and creating a training plan. 

There are a few options here with regards to training plans.

1) Hire a one-on-one coach – It doesn’t have to be me, but there are plenty of qualified coaches out there who work with athletes to help them reach their success! We take time to make sure you don’t have to worry about your training, instead you go out and hit the workouts and that’s that!

If you are interested, contact me ryan@milestogoendurance.com

2) Get a prebuilt plan – You can look online and find plenty of prebuilt plans. I, however, don’t recommend many of the plans straight out of the box. If you were going to get a plan, make sure you tailor that plan to fit your needs and your life. It’s like any suit or nice dress, if you wear it straight off the shelf, it may look okay, but once you tailor it to your body, you look like a million bucks.

If you are interested, contact me ryan@milestogoendurance.com

3) Write your own plan – There is no shortage of great books out there on training. I recommend picking up any of the great works, like Daniels Running Formula, The Triathlete’s Training Bible, Hanson’s Marathon Method, and more. The more you read about how to structure your workouts, the better informed athlete and self-coach you become.

If you do write your own plan, here are some of the most important points to consider, based on how I look at coaching.

1) If you are a new or even intermediate runner, focus on improving your aerobic base by running in a conversational pace as you get back into training. This is what you hear when everyone’ talks about building your base. Work on ensuring your muscles are functioning correctly, you have great range of motion and your running mechanics are sound.

2) As the training cycle progresses, make sure your efforts begin to match the intensity of the race. The simple rule of thumb, the close you get to the race, the more race like your training becomes. Continue to keep conversational pace and recovery runs, but begin to include hills, tempo and progression runs depending on your race distance. This is where you can really work on what you need to improve, especially if it’s speed or strength related.

3) As the race draws nearer, begin to reduce your mileage and up the intensity for the last push. You can do a traditional 2 or 3 week taper period into the race where intensity remains, but your mileage lowers. This helps to prepare your legs. Your intense work should be done at race pace to condition your body to run at that speed without a second thought.

4) Include cross training as a part of your plan. Your cross training should be more intense and strength focused during the base portion of training and then begin to lessen the intensity as the running intensity builds. I advise to continue cross training throughout the year, except during taper when I do some light bodyweight exercise but remove other weights completely.

5) Rest days are just as important as non-rest days. Recover wisely and your running will improve immensely.

Those are a few simple way to structure your training around your races, being present and what you need to improve.

In the coming weeks, I’m excited to start unveiling the beginning of a self-coaching program I’ve been working on. Details to come, but it will be geared towards those people who want to become better, and also want to continue with their self-coached path!

For those who already work with us as one-on-one clients, we’ll be going over all of your 2014 race plans soon. Some of you are already in the midst of training and some are still in the transition phase. Don’t worry, you are covered and we are good to go!

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