Best Running Tips Newsletter, Issue #025 -- Your
Own Individual Running Program
January 20, 2011
Although it is a bit late, let me start off by wishing you a good 2011.
I have just returned from a refreshing, wonderful holiday in beautiful
New Zealand and have only just really started to get back into the
swing of things.
During our holiday we were blessed with (mostly) beautiful weather.
Running was put on the back-burner, although I did manage to get out
there about three times a week for short runs.
running I did was in Dunedin, the 'Edinburgh of the
South'. It is very hilly in Dunedin. It is home to the world's steepest
street, so you can imagine what the circumstances were
The elevation chart on my Garmin 405cx showed that there was a height
difference of 100+ metres between the highest and the lowest point of
my runs. And most of that height difference was covered over very short
parts of the course.
It was undoable to run at a steady pace. It was anything from 3-4 min /
km downhill to 6-8 min / km uphill, depending on the slope and the
length of the hill. Never a dull moment there!
The beginning of a New Year is always a good moment to think about new
goals and plans. And that goes for every area in your life, whether you
are looking at your business, your work, your family, finances or your
When planning running goals I find it very helpful to first establish
why I am running. Think
about it for a while. Is it because you need to lose
weight? Is it just to keep healthy? Why do you run?
Whether you are in it for weight loss, for your health or because you
have got something to prove to the world, it is a good idea to choose some key races
for the year ahead.
Running just for the running training alone is
great if you can keep it going. But a good motivator
to push yourself along and to make sure you keep up the training is to
pick some running races you are actually going to participate in.
Suppose you want to run a marathon by the end of the year
(October/November). When you have got a whole year of training ahead of
you just for one race, it will get hard to keep the motivation going. Make
sure you choose 2-4 key events that you want to participate in.
This breaks up your schedule and helps to keep your focus on a goal
that is closer by. Maybe do something like a 5k/10k run in March, a
half marathon in June and then your marathon in October / November. A mix of shorter and longer
events is a good idea as it will allow you to train both your speed and
your aerobic ability.
You can plan to run more races if you like, but I would advise that you
put your training focus on less rather than more.
You can't set your training up properly to peak ten times a year. You
can set it up such that you are optimally prepared for 2-4 events. Use
the other races as 'tests in between' or 'dress rehearsals'.
Once you know which races are going to be your main events, you need to
choose your running program. Now, there are many different running
programs available on the net. Some quite good, some not. Many of them
are not quite specific enough for your own individual needs. They
assume that you have never run before. Or they assume that you have
been a runner for all your life. It's hard to find that
program for you. Hold that thought. More on that below.
My Goals for the Year
So, what are my goals for the year? Well, first of all I am going to
try to stay injury-free. I got a knee injury last year. Not due to
running, I was doing some heavy lifting and hurt it real bad when I
climbed onto a bench. It really ruined my running last year, so first
goal is to try stay
injury-free. I run to stay healthy and want to keep it
that way, so staying injury-free is key.
I am at a lower base of fitness now due to the long time of no running.
So it will be a challenge to build
up slowly. In order to not get into heavy, heavy training immediately I
plan to run a 15k race
in April and then a half marathon in July.
Following that I will evaluate my performance and how I feel. If there
is some hesitation I will most likely go for another half marathon in
October. If I am in real great condition then I will aim for a marathon
For best-running-tips.com I have got some exciting plans as well. As
you may know the site has been a labour of love for me for the last 5
1/2 years. It's been growing really well.
January is traditionally a
strong month with many new runners getting interested in some running
tips, and there have been days this month where the site got
very close to 5,000 unique visitors on a single day. For what
started as a little hobby site, that's not all that bad. Runner's
World, be prepared, here I come... :)
My main plans for best-running-tips.com are to:
* Launch a coaching service.
* Start allowing other website owners to share their articles on my
* Start a forum/social network capability.
Exciting times ahead. Of course I will keep you updated via this
We will kick off these new plans and ideas with the
launch of a coaching service within the next fortnight. Now,
if you have got difficulties with finding the right running program for
you, soon I'll be able to help you.
The service will offer an assessment of your current situation and aims
to work out your strengths and weaknesses. Based on that you will get a
personalised running program which aims to get you to top
performance in your next key race.
It will be exciting and it will offer us the ability to work
one-on-one on your running goals.
Preparations are under way. As soon as I am ready I will send you a
Running Training Helpline
During my holidays the Running
Training Helpline got inundated with questions. I
am working through them as we speak. If you have left me a question and
have not received an answer yet, then rest assured I am working on it.
Please keep in mind that I love answering these questions, but that I
usually delete one-line questions. Questions like "What should I eat?",
"What should I wear when I run", "How fast can I run a 5k?" and "Can I
complete a 1.5k within 10 minutes
with an injury?" get deleted. These questions just provoke equally
short responses from me (i.e. "Nothing", "Nothing", "Pretty
slow probably", "Tell him he's dreaming." respectively).
When you want a useful answer, please provide more information about
yourself, i.e. how often you train, times in recent races, your running
background, etc. The more relevant information you provide, the more
help I can give you.
Ok, that's it for now.
haven't done so already, start thinking about those key races.
And keep your eyes on your inbox. Within the
next two weeks I will send
you another note, announcing the opening of my coaching service. Best
Running Tips Newsletter subscribers get first dibs. There will be limited spots
available, so if you are interested, make sure you get in fast.
Talk to you soon.
In the meantime, come visit my site often and happy running!
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