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The big race is over… and it was AWESOME! All that hard work paid off; you ran to the finish, set new PR’s in both time and distance, and you’re in the best shape of your life.
So… now what? If you’ve reached your goal, set a new one! For the month of June my goal is to run 60 miles and add more strength training to my running routine. This way I can maintain the distance endurance I’ve built up through my half-marathon training and strengthen the muscles I need to train for the Full Marathon, when the time comes.
Learn from running coach, Marty Beene, the most important component to include in your running routine!
Remember to Enjoy Running
I am a person who thrives on training for a particular goal – I love to plan my training, then challenge myself to stick with it through good times and bad. But then what happens after that big race?
I do find that running without some sort of goal can be kind of, well, boring. So here’s what I will do to keep me going.
For one thing, over decades of running, I have figured out how much running I need to do to stay in minimally decent shape so that I can launch a focused training program for some race that pops up on my radar. For me, it’s about 25 miles a week, spread over about 5 days of running. So I make a point of planning my schedule so I can get out about that often for a run.
Second, instead of just running the same courses through the same neighborhoods, I make a point of trying some new routes. I’ll start with one of my usual routes, but change it a little in the middle by taking a shortcut, or even a “long-cut.” It’s great to see some different trees, houses, etc., and I sometimes find a great route that I put into my rotation.
Another thing I will do is leave the watch at home and just run. OK, I don’t actually take it off because the blinding white band of un-tanned skin easily burns, but I will simply not start it.
One approach during “down time” is to cross-train. I enjoy cycling, and the first few weeks after a big race is a great time to do some extra cycling. Changing the usual routine of running all the time is great for your body and your mind.
Finally, one of my favorite things to do is to spontaneously enter a short race (e.g., a 5k) and just go run it for fun. Instead of thinking about splits, pacing, racing, etc., just start at the back and run the race, and then hang out with the other runners afterward, sipping on recovery drinks, munching on energy bars, and smiling.
What has been your favorite, most exciting and fulfilling race you’ve completed so far?
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