SET THE RIGHT GOAL

De­clut­ter your train­ing di­ary and tar­get a new goal based on what gives you the most sat­is­fac­tion

Runner's World (UK) - - Motivation -

When you read about the ben­e­fits of long runs, tempo runs, hill train­ing, crosstrain­ing, postrun strides and so on (and on...) it’s easy to feel over­whelmed by ev­ery­thing you think you should ac­com­plish. If your quest to fit it all in is sap­ping your run­ning mojo, it’s time to de­clut­ter your sched­ule.

Or­gan­i­sa­tion maven Marie Kondo, whose books in­clude The­life-chang­ing magic of Tidyin­gup (Ver­mil­ion), be­lieves hap­pi­ness comes from let­ting go of things you store out of obli­ga­tion, and keep­ing your favourites. Her ideas can help run­ners trim the ‘should-dos and fo­cus on what gives them sat­is­fac­tion’, says ul­tra run­ner and coach Art Ives. And that can re­vive flag­ging mo­ti­va­tion.

The best way to set a goal can be to iden­tify the type of run­ning that lights up your day and then let that dic­tate your tar­get, says coach Larry Blay­lock. Use this guide to choose your next goal and or­gan­ise your train­ing ac­cord­ing to the type of run­ning that brings you joy.

YOU LOVE THE BURN OF TEMPO PACE YOUR GOAL A FAST 10- MILER

Tempo runs – which should in­clude at least 20 min­utes of run­ning at a com­fort­ably hard pace – ap­peal to run­ners who love to push them­selves. Tempo work­outs raise your fa­tigue thresh­old – let­ting you run faster and over longer dis­tances with­out tir­ing. That’s key for a strong 10-miler, which re­quires both speed and en­durance. Start week one with one 20-minute tempo ses­sion (with a warm-up and cool-down of five-to-10 min­utes), and vary the du­ra­tion of the tempo phase (up to 40 mins) in sub­se­quent weeks.

YOU LOVE RUN­NING WITH OTHER PEO­PLE YOUR GOAL A FULL DI­ARY

Chatty runs are great for de­vel­op­ing base aer­o­bic fit­ness, says Blay­lock. But run­ning bud­dies can also pro­pel you through hard work­outs. Join friends for hills or in­ter­vals: if they’re slower, you can up their game; if they’re faster, you can chase them. If you’re chas­ing, take easy days be­fore and af­ter. Widen your run-so­cial cir­cle, too: join a club run each week.

YOU LOVE JUST RUN­NING YOUR GOAL TO RUN HEALTHY

You don't have to race to en­joy the phys­i­cal and men­tal ben­e­fits of run­ning, but you do need to avoid in­jury-en­forced time out. Aim for at least 90 min­utes per week of run­ning at your ‘happy pace’. To stay in­juryfree, do two weekly 15-minute strength-train­ing ses­sions. Tar­get your core mus­cles (with moves such as planks and side planks), along with some lower leg and glute work (such as squats and lunges).

YOU LOVE GO­ING LONG YOUR GOAL TO RACE FUR­THER

‘I love run­ning longer, be­cause you work so much stress out,’ says Blay­lock. Plus, long runs change your per­cep­tion of lim­i­ta­tions. ‘There’s a sec­ond en­ergy that you get in the later stages,’ says Ives. Blay­lock rec­om­mends choos­ing a race up to 60 per cent longer than you’ve ever gone be­fore – whether that’s a 10K or a 100K. Train­ing for a 10K takes eight weeks; pre­req­ui­sites for an ul­tra in­clude sev­eral marathon fin­ishes and 21-24 weeks of train­ing.

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