Hello again! It’s time for Friday Five. Spring can be the most enjoyable for a runner. We spend so much of the winter months in layers of clothes or on the treadmill or in some cases nursing an injury from the fall. Spring is literally a rebirth of sorts. It’s a time to focus on goals for the year and get moving again.
Like many of you I spend each Spring recalling races and training runs in the past with the hope to improve and break some new records. I talked about my running goals for this year, but now that Spring is here I feel even more motivated to make them a reality. The reason I think it’s easier to do this in the Spring is because chances are you already have a couple fall marathons on the calendar and they seem closer than they did back in January.
Each year that goes by brings change. Changes that occur in your body and changes that occur in your soul. Spring is the best time to catapult your training because you have time to work towards specific goals before the big months hit leading up to your fall race goals.
Today let’s dive into ways to utilize that momentum.
This is the time to start base building if you took a couple months or weeks off from running due to lack of motivation or injury. You have plenty of time to focus on just running without having to worry about following a specific training plan to get you to the start. The pressure is off so to speak because you can just focus on getting 3-6 runs in per week without having to worry about pacing or speed work.
Utilize The Weather
The worst and arguably best thing about training for a fall marathon is that your peak mileage weeks take place during the peak heat of the summer. This is great because most folks tend to run better in cooler temps that are often present during fall races, but it makes the summer runs brutal depending on where you live. Spring is the last season you will see for a while where the temperatures aren’t staggering and are the closest resemblance to fall so make the most of it.
Opportunity to be Awesome
I’ve talked about this before, but Spring is a great time to give yourself an opportunity to be awesome. There are loads of Spring races so take advantage of them. Whether you decide to use them as a training run or race them to measure your fitness, a Spring race will give you confidence and help you analyze areas of improvement before marathon training officially starts. For us here in the Southeast, road races over a 5k distance are hard to come by during the months of June, July and August so I like to take advantage now while I can.
Try New Things
It’s sometimes nerve wracking trying a new training strategy or technique when you feel like it’s crunch time during official training, so spring is the time to try it out. Want to see if barre will make you a better runner or try Hanson’s method? Maybe you want to start pumping more iron at the gym or training with an elevation mask to increase your lung capacity? This also spills over into pre race nutrition and nutrition during a long run. There is nothing worse than realizing you only have a couple shots during a training cycle to practice something new and knowing if it goes horribly wrong you will be in a really bad place emotionally. Now is the time because you have time to try new things out without having to worry about it not working for you and getting behind on your marathon training plan.
Spring is the time to get stronger in every area of your training. Work on harnessing your mental toughness for the hard months of training ahead and get your body ready. No one wants to lose motivation during official training or get injured. Chances are if you are an experienced runner you know what areas you need to improve on so take this time to push yourself to make some areas stronger. If you are a newbie runner or looking to tackle a new goal or distance this fall then work on improving your overall fitness so you can prevent injury and pain when you start increasing your mileage.
No matter what your fall goals are you can leverage the spring season to your benefit. Not only will a solid Spring give you the confidence you need to be a force this fall, but you will be preparing your body for things to come.
Do you utilize the spring season as a build up to fall?
What are you looking forward to this spring?
T-SHIRT PROCEEDS TO BENEFIT RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE CHARITIES. I will be running the Chicago Marathon again this year for charity and can’t think of a more worthy cause. To help me reach my fundraising goal click here. I am selling these adorable shirts and all the proceeds will benefit RMHC. Don’t miss out! They are super cute and come in a variety of styles and colors.