4 Tips Toward Your Next Successful Race
This is a term I use frequently with all my athletes and customers. Whether your goal is to finish the race, be competitive within your age group, or lead a healthier lifestyle, the key is consistency. At a minimum, walkers and runners should walk or run at least 3 times a week. In my coaching experience, 3 walks or runs a week can lead to progression for individuals just getting started. Athletes who are more experienced or have higher goals will require upwards of 6-7 runs per week, but beginners who are consistent can make progress without committing to running every day.
While training for a local race, it is easy to skip a day or two when the weather is unpleasant or life gets in the way. If you train with family, friends, or a virtual partner, this will help you get through those less motivated time periods that we all experience. Joining a gym or local walking/running club or download a training app like Garmin connect can lead to more accountability and consistency with training.
Do you want to finish your first 5k, 10k, or Half Marathon? Do you want to place in your age group, run 10 minute per mile pace, or finish a training plan without getting injured? These are examples of attainable goals which help athletes stay motivated, consistent, and accountable throughout training and preparation. Setting goals that are realistic and within your reach rather than unattainable will help individuals at all levels stay focused and motivated!
Easier said than done… I know! For beginners, walkers, and runners the hardest thing to grasp is the idea of being “sore” versus being “hurt.” Soreness typically goes away within 24-48 hours and it is associated with larger muscle groups such as the gastrocnemius, soleus, hamstring, or quadriceps. Injuries or being “hurt” implies you need complete time off training due to the inability to perform an exercise without further doing damage.
Be willing to listen to your body and utilize your resources for preventing or addressing issues during training! Common injuries for walkers and runners can be avoided by proper footwear/insoles, the use of a foam roller, adequate warm-up/stretching, and attending to your nutrition.
About the Author:
Justin Roeder, BS, Exercise Science, is a USAT Certified Coach and former professional triathlete, Division I Cross-Country/Track and Field athlete, and IHSAA State Champion. Justin graduated from Hamilton Southeastern High School after earning several honors including the IHSAA Cross-Country State Championship as an individual in 2004. He went on to run cross-country and track and field at Butler University where he was a 3-time NCAA Cross-Country National Qualifier. In 2013, Justin was selected to join the USAT Collegiate Recruitment Program/Olympic Development Program to race as a professional triathlete. He resided and trained at the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO.
Justin now utilizes his knowledge and experience to assist athletes across a range of ability levels from beginners to professional athletes through coaching and his role as General Manager at Endurance House.