Be ready when life throws you a running curveball
Runners can face many transitions over the course of a season that require a deliberate plan of action. Let’s look at five such transitions and consider these tips on how to successfully navigate the changes.
RACING AND RECOVERY
It’s only August so there is still a good three months of serious running if you are chasing that personal record. Recovery is dependent upon the distance of the event and the effort applied.
A good rule of thumb is if you are giving it a maximum effort, plan on easier run- ning for each mile raced. So you actually can race hard a hard 5K each weekend and get away with it. Stretching the formula to a 10K may be pushing it. Go for two weeks between racing instead. For a half mara thon, wait at least two, and preferably three weeks between racing.
TAPERING FOR A KEY EVENT
Again, knowing how to taper depends on the distance of the race for which you are training. The longer the race, the longer the taper, or gradual reduction in your weekly mileage leading up to the race. At three weeks out from your race, your weekly workload should be at 75 percent; at two weeks out, 50 percent; and one week out, 30 per- cent. Keep your leg speed fresh by running 6×150-yard strides. Even if you did not do the classic endurance, strength, speed build-up for your race. A taper or reduced intensity will yield positive results.
RETURN TO RUNNING AFTER AN INJURY
First, listen to your sports-medicine clinician. Returning to run- ning depends on the seriousness of your injury. Muscle pull? Strain? Knee surgery? What was your baseline fitness before the trauma? If in peak condition, a swifter recovery may be possible – especially if you stayed active by cross training. Your cardiovascular system is the main driver when transitioning back from injuries. Look at Joan Benoit Samuelson, winner of the 1984 Los Angeles marathon. She had surgery a few weeks before the race. Just be careful pushing the intensity of your workout in terms of speed or distance – going too far or too fast too soon can backfire.
SHIFTING FROM A SOLO EVENT TO RELAY
This shift is a treat as you get to be part of a team and that alone can bring incredible results. You may find that extra gear during your leg to set a PR pace.
RACER TO VOLUNTEER
This is what I call giving back to the tribe. Think of all the events you signed up for and the faces you saw behind the scenes at registration, bib pick-up, course set up, timing, aide station support, and clean up. Depending on the event it could be a long day so just consider a form of cross training. If you find it hard to skip a work- out sign up to be a lead bike. The sweep or last bike is just time in the saddle with very easy peddling to make sure the last contestant completes the course the event officially closed. Most larger events have online sign up to let you actually select the task and time frame. You will return to your next race with a refreshing perspective of what goes on behind the scenes.
— Keep striding and smiling Coach Mike
EVENTS TO RUN/VOLUNTEER FOR:
Anchorage: Anchorage RunFest: Aug. 18-19 Kids Run, Mile, 49K, Marathon, Marathon Relay, Half-marathon, 5K (www.anchoragerunfest.org)
Fairbanks: Musk Ox Trail Run: Aug. 25 Half-marathon Bjkrcn2017@gmail.com
Homer: Homer Mariner Tri: Sept. 1 1,000-yard swim, 15-mile bike and 5-mile run. email@example.com
Talkeetna: Bun to Bun Trail Run: Sept. 8 26K and 5K with relay option Mettadan@gmail.com
Juneau: Nifty Fifty: Aug. 11 50K, 25K and 10K