How to Crush Your Summer Running Goals

How to Crush Your Summer Running Goals

Believe it or not summer is fast approaching. Spring is a great time to start taking your workouts outdoors. One of the easiest outdoor workout options? Back-to-basics running. As simple as that sounds running can actually be one of the most challenging and effective workouts: great for improving aerobic and anaerobic conditioning as well as toning your legs and helping to shed extra winter weight. 

Want to improve your running this summer but don’t know where to start? 

Don’t worry: we’ve got you covered.

Step #1) Make a Goal.
To see an improvement in your running you need a measureable goal. If you are new to running I would suggest a simple endurance goal (i.e. building up the stamina to run for 30 minutes without stopping). If you are a seasoned runner I suggest signing up for a specific race to work on improving distance, speed, or both. Make the goal. Make sure it is realistic. Set a timeline & hit the ground running.

Step #2) Make a Plan.
The plan will directly relate to your specific goal but if the goal is running-related you need to be hitting the pavement at least 3x/week. Ideally one run should be for distance, one should be for speed and another should be interval-based training. If your goal is to run a 10k you should aim to complete one distance run/week (10+ km ). Don’t stress about the pace – just run without stopping to get used to the distance. In addition to the distance run add in one 5km/week (at race pace – push yourself to run at your goal speed) + one interval workout to improve sprint pace and hill endurance. 

Step #3) Train Off the Track.
YES you need to clock kilometers to improve your running but you also need to continue with your strength training if you want to avoid injury and really see results. Areas to focus on: quads, glutes (max AND med), hamstrings, core. Stretching and mobility are also essential to avoid injury. Be sure to do some dynamic stretches before a long run and focus on more static holds as part of your cool down. 

Step #4) Fuel Yourself Appropriately.
I see countless clients who begin a running program and feel that they have been granted the right to eat unlimited amounts of food (especially carbohydrates). I have seen all of these clients gain weight and body fat despite clocking tens of thousands of kilometers each month. YES you need carbs to perform optimally but NO you do not need to be pounding bagels at the same rate that you are pounding the pavement. Trial and error is key when determining what works best for your energy and your digestive system but ideally make sure to consume some easily digestible carbs pre-run as well as some slower digesting carbs post. Think bananas and steel cut oats NOT candy and carbonera. 

Step #5) Rest.
Just like any training program rest days are just as important as training days. Aim to run amaximumof 4x/week. Use the other days for strength training and active recovery. 

Need more guidance? Ask your trainer for help with your goal; see your chiro for mobility exercises; chat with me about sports nutrition for runners and book your post-race massage – you’ll deserve it. 

By: Danielle Bossin-Hardy
BA, PTS, CNP. (Hons)


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