The balmy spring weather we’ve been having this week has, in part, reminded me that it is again running and race season.
The other part of the reminder is that I’m starting to see the social media posts from people who are getting a hurt a week or two before the race they’ve been training for all spring. Not good. And I’ve learned, mostly preventable.
The single biggest mistake that I see runners make is overdoing their training mileage. There are many ways this manifests but the net net is simply too much training stress for the available recovery ability. Lifters are guilty of this too, but at least in recent years the understanding of sub-maximal training has become more prolific and I don’t see it as often.
To use a lifting analogy, you don’t ever need to pull 600lbs in training to pull 600lbs in a meet. In fact, you might not even need to dip into the 500s.
So for runners you’ll see runners training for a marathon running upwards of 20 miles before the actual race, and it’s totally unnecessary and usually results in injury.
Here are three articles with you that go over both theory and application of a better way to train:
– Endurance Training with Gym Movement is a high-level overview of how to usebiofeedback in your endurance training.
– Tapering, You’re Doing it Wrong explains why many people and many programs approach tapering incorrectly and it leaves you flagging on race day instead of fresh and ready to accomplish a new level of performance.
– The 5-run Marathon is an account of how, under extreme circumstances, I prepared a runner for a marathon with only 5 runs over 16 days.
If there’s one idea that I want you to take away from each of these is the idea that all you need is the minimal effective amount of stress to induce adaptation – any more and the cost is too high, any less (not usually the issue) and you don’t see improvement.
Even if you have no interest in ever running a marathon or anything like it these ideas can still be applied to improve your overall cardiovascular health and adaptability.