How to Train for a PR

A few additional thoughts:

Set optimistic yet realistic goals to begin the process. If your 10K best is 46:00, perhaps target a goal of one to two minutes faster. A goal of 33:00 is likely a bit unrealistic unless you ran your 46-minute effort while holding a 25-pound weight.

Do not expect early season/year race efforts to be your best performances. If you are planning your year correctly with a base phase, anaerobic threshold focus and economy work to finish, your early races will likely be "rust busters" and often will be subpar simply based on the fact that intensity should be kept to a minimum in early training phases.

More: What Type of Running is Anaerobic? 

Reassess your goals and your map toward those goals occasionally with someone who knows more than you. Nothing is more powerful to a distance runner (or any athlete) than an objective eye. No one has the power to be fully objective about his or her own training.


More: 7 Secrets to Finding a Running Coach

Avoid the "race-all-year" trap that many fall into. While road racing 52 weeks a year is enjoyable, improving performances is more enjoyable. Allow yourself a three- to four-month lower intensity base-phase period to begin each year (sans racing); it will allow you to see higher peaks at the end of the year.

Allow yourself a two- to three-week period of true rest following the end your primary goal race to reflect and begin planning your next stage of attack.

More: 6 Ways to Copy the Off-Season Breaks of Elite Athletes

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