Tips For Your Next Training Cycle


Training cycles are hard. We already know it's difficult to commit to a training cycle simply from a time and intensity perspective, but also from a mental perspective when one is thinking about going for a big PR or new distance. Below are some simple tips to keep you on track during your next cycle.


Build them around your schedule. 

Work/life balance is already pretty stressful so adding physical effort on top of that becomes challenging. If building your own training plan or running routine, work it around your current schedule. Try not to add stress on top of already existing stress - consider which days are your heaviest work days vs. which days are days you tend to get out early. Add your runs to your google calendar to make it feel more like an official event or meeting, so that it's less likely you skip or forget it.


Find a coach who complements you. 

We all have our needs and wants so your coach should help you with that. If you aren't feeling supported or that you are meshing with your coach, it is totally fine to move on and find someone else. The whole idea of having a coach is for support and guidance. Each coach has a different style in not just their programming but in how they interact with their athletes, and it is worth your time to shop around for the right complement to your personality and needs.

Consider: Does this coach specialize in beginner or experienced runners? Do I need special attention in arenas of nutrition, recovery, or strength training, and does this coach provide that? Does this coach offer in-person sessions?

Not every runner needs all of these things, so it's important to consider what boxes you need checked when working with an expert.



Set clear and attainable goals.

Define your goals, write them down even. Whether it is a time or a distance or just completing a race. Make sure they are clear so you can define your training and maintain motivation towards the goal. Make sure the goal is something approachable and doesn't feel like something impossible. Do your research in understanding the different paces you will train with, or the timing of your speed vs recovery vs long run workouts, etc. in order to avoid overloading your body. Build in checkpoints (or talk to your coach about these) for measuring progress throughout your training program.


Consistency is key.

Consistency is key to making progress in any training cycle or program. Consistency will help improve fitness and resilience with long term improvements. Focus on consistency above all else to see the gains. If you miss a run here or there, that's okay, but running 10 miles a week then 30 the next is flirting with injury and not an effective use of your time.


Listen to your body.

Pay attention to what your body is telling you and adjust as needed. If you are having pain there is probably an issue. If you are feeling tired its okay to adjust or take a day off. Listening to what your body is telling you can help reduce injury and risk or burnout. 



Prioritize recovery. 

Recovery is just as important as the training itself. One of the biggest ways to prevent injury and fatigue is recovering from hard training. Gentle stretching, mobility work and staying on top of nutrition/hydration all count towards recovery. The better you are with this routine the better you will adapt to the stresses of training. 



Keep it interesting. Yes consistency is key but that doesn't mean you cant keep the body guessing. Variety will keep the body stimulated and growing. It will also stimulate your mind and keep your motivated to continue on. Working on things like intervals, hill repeats, tempo runs, fartleks and slower runs are different variations of running or training you can include. 



Find motivation in other ways.

Don't just rely on having good workouts as your motivation. Find other things in your community or with connections that help motivate you to push on through a cycle. You can also set smaller milestones inside the overall goal. Celebrate small wins as they will lead to larger ones with consistency. 


Trust the Process. 

This takes time. Training improvements don't just happen overnight, and they usually don't happen in a week or a month either. You have to trust yourself and the plan you are on, but remember that it's okay to ask questions. Embrace the highs and lows along the way but trust your body to continue to move forward.


Interested in working with a run coach? Email to get started.


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