Hope everyone had an awesome Holiday break, enjoying lots of time with your family and relatives!
Cross Country is long over and it's been OK to kick back, take a break from the 6 days/week of training. ...However, if you've been "taking it easy" for the past 2-4 weeks, then that's plenty enough of a break and NOW IS THE TIME TO GET BACK OUT THERE RUNNING before you end up looking like this:
UGH! ...Don't turn into a couch potato, FORCE YOURSELF BACK INTO A TRAINING ROUTINE RIGHT NOW! Remember, these winter weeks are the easiest time of the year to slack off or get comfortable/complacent and thus, let yourself slip into getting outta shape and that's a bummer! As you've heard many times before, consistency is key to maintaining fitness year round!
-EVERYONE should be running at least 3 days a week right now, ARE YOU?
...Track season is only 6 weeks away and for you couch potatoes, the workouts will hurt more, you'll be more vulnerable to shin splints and prone to all variations of tendinitis, muscle strains, etc... So, NOW IS THE ONLY OPPORTUNITY to build up a mileage base, build-up your strength and let your body acclimate to a steady running routine so you can stay healthy/handle the long and intense track season coming up! -The good news is all of you should still have a reasonable foundation from Cross Country season, so you shouldn't have to spend a lot of time building up miles (like with Summer training), but you gotta keep running or you'll loose your fitness!
FIRST STEP, GET INSPIRED! ...This is a great time for a gut-check; why do YOU run? -Check out this video:
-Why do I Run? (kinda long ~6:00, but good stuff from a runner's perspective): Link
...Say what?! You're still not pumped up to run again?!
-Greg Arietta's excellent MCHS XC '13 Video (if you've already seen it, you gotta watch it again!): Link
-Bonus! ...Missing your buds from MCHS XC 2012? Here's the end of the XC '12 Season video: Link
NEXT STEP, ESTABLISH A PURPOSE! OK, so for sure you must be pumped-up to run now, so let's match that desire with establishing goals for your upcoming season! Consider the following video with some good points on pursuing your goals for 2014. Listen to this all the way through (this is another ~6:00 video) and hopefully, the images/words will open your mind to think deeper, aim higher/go bigger when pursuing your goals this upcoming season, "...You have to want to succeed as much as you want to breathe..." Link
LAST STEP, COMMIT TO A TRAINING ROUTINE!
...Once you've established your goals (be sure to keep it realistic, write them down and post them where you can see them frequently, like on the mirror where you brush your teeth), now is the time to commit to a Winter Training Plan level that matches what you're willing to work for/commit to! Remember, the success of your track season begins with your pre-season preparation. Be realistic and honest with yourself in terms of what you are willing to commit to and chose one of these two levels of Winter Training Plans over the next 6 weeks:
Winter Training Plan Level I (Modest-Moderate) Goal: "I can commit to running 4 days/wk and I just want to maintain my current fitness so I'm reasonably prepared for the first day of track practice" Mileage Range = 23-29 miles/wk.
Winter Training Plan Level II (Moderate-Aggressive) Goal: "I can commit to running 5-6 days/wk and I want to chase PRs early-mid track season" Mileage Range = 27-40 miles/wk.
REMINDER: These Winter Training Plans are for reference only and can be combined or replaced by Mr. Pointer's "Winter Running Club" plans if/when that starts up after the Winter Break. Keep in mind, these Winter months are considered "off-season" and thus, off-limits for direct coach-to-athlete instruction, so consider these Winter Training Plans as recommendations only; the MCHS coaching staff can't provide any hands-on, specific instruction beyond the general recommendations or suggestions provided on this blog.
In my next post, I will provide some suggestions and drills to improve your running economy, including a few sample form drills and recommendations for light-weight strength training.
Run Happy into the New Year!
Cell: (707) 291-2967