Friday, December 2, 2011

What do you do for your first WINTER WORKOUT?

Runners are often in a bit of a dilemma about when to start workouts and what harder workouts to begin with after their fall marathon or half marathon. These first few workouts should be used as springboards into winter training and should be positive experiences to build workout confidence. A couple of questions you have to ask yourself before beginning that first winter workout is, "Do I even feel like doing the hard workout and am I ready mentally and physically?"  That extra pressure to rush back into structured workouts leads to a lot of long faces and questions after the first few workouts.  Runners usually end up with sad faces after those first few strict workouts where they are trying to hit specific times end badly. Don't fall into that timed workout trap.

Would love to hear about some of those first workouts that allow everyone to ease themselves back into training after their marathon or key 1/2 marathon.  It is pretty much a given runners do not need to go to the track for that first workout so let's look at some ideas for workouts for the roads. A progression run is a simple workout based solely on effort, you do not have to be tied to or pressured to running a certain time - just try to run a solid effort to finish off the run with each mile getting faster.  Or what about just running a negative split on your LONG RUN for the week. Another example of a safe first workout idea might be to do 5-6 (3) minute faster pickups within your 6-10 mile run every couple of minutes of the run.  After the confidence is there from these mini-harder workouts it is time to really get down to business, but skipping over these first few EFFORT workouts and confidence builders gets many runners into trouble.

If you keep things simple and take the pressure off of yourself in those first few post big race workouts you will be more happy with those first few weeks of training. Until that time comes for timed workouts listen to your body and just go the workout route that is all effort based until you have the confidence to really get after faster workouts or moving them to the track.