Spring is coming soon. I promise. As the weather warms, the racing season will heat up, and you'll want to be prepared. Get race ready for spring with these five training ideas.
Running Tip 1: Turn 'Em Over
The first few races in spring are a shock to the system, particularly the legs. Early-season races can feel like you're sprinting the entire time since winter forces most of us to do more easy running and fewer fast workouts.
To fix this problem, include regular leg turnover workouts for the rest of the winter. These workouts remind the neuromuscular system (the brain, nervous system and their coordination with the muscles) what it's like to run quickly. The good news is that these workouts aren't "hard." They are simply short, quick "strides" that help maintain your turnover so those first few races aren't such a shock to the body.
More: Run Fast With Strides
At least once per week—and at minimum once every two weeks—complete this leg turnover workout: Alternate 20 seconds at your 5K race pace followed by 1 minute at your easy run pace. An example for a 30-minute run would be:
*10 minutes at easy run pace as a warm-up
*10 minutes alternating 20 seconds of quick striding with 1 minute of easy running
*10 minutes at easy run pace as a cooldown
One final note: Leg turnover workouts aren't just for "fast" runners, they are for all runners. When my beginning runners do this workout, they get a quick boost in fitness, find their easy run pace gets faster, learn better running form, and feel better running fast. That's a win-win-win-win!
Running Tip 2: Fix Your Weak Link
What area of your body is the first to get sore or injured during training? This is your "weak link," and winter is the time to fix it once and for all.