What Can a Year of Running Do for You?

Get Faster with a Disciplined Approach

If you've been running consistently for a while and your goal is to improve your pace, you'll need to log some tough workouts. Tempo runs, hill repeats and sprint intervals should be judiciously added to your base training plan. 

Shoot for one or two of these speed workouts per week, and be sure to follow each one with either a rest day or an easy run day. Cramming too many hard workouts into each training week is a recipe for an overtraining injury disaster. 

Also remember that you should never increase weekly mileage while working on speed. Choose one goal or the other in order to stay healthy.

Go the Distance by Slowing Down

If 2017 is the year you'll finally tackle a half, full or ultra marathon, be prepared to log a lot of miles, and remember that 80 percent of those miles should be slow ones. 

The number one mistake recreational runners make is running too many of their training miles outside the aerobic zone. The golden pace is the one that allows you to talk in short sentences while running and roughly equals 60 to 65 percent of heart rate max for most runners. 

Keeping your pace slow as you build weekly mileage will help you avoid injury. It's also a good idea to insert a recovery week with low mileage into your training plan every third or fourth week. 

Stay Injury Free by Training Smarter

Staying injury-free is probably a secondary goal for all runners—no matter what the primary goal is—but if running related injuries kept you on the sidelines for much of last year, you may choose to focus only on this. 

Getting past a running related injury, and then staying healthy, takes patience, first and foremost. Once you feel healthy, you may be tempted to quickly build your mileage and increase your pace to pre-inury levels, but you should resist the urge to do so. 

Instead, start off slowly and be a stickler for the details. Hire a running coach or trainer to check your form and give you pointers on how to improve. Cross training and strength training can also help you stay injury free.

Choosing a specific goal and following a smart, disciplined training plan can help you get the most out of running in the year ahead.

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About the Author

Rashelle Brown is a long-time fitness professional and freelance writer with hundreds of bylines in print and online. She is a regular contributor for the Active Network and NextAvenue, and is the author of Reboot Your Body: Unlocking the Genetic Secrets to Permanent Weight Loss (Turner Publishing). Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @RashelleBrownMN.
Rashelle Brown is a long-time fitness professional and freelance writer with hundreds of bylines in print and online. She is a regular contributor for the Active Network and NextAvenue, and is the author of Reboot Your Body: Unlocking the Genetic Secrets to Permanent Weight Loss (Turner Publishing). Connect with her on Twitter and Instagram @RashelleBrownMN.

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