Updated: Feb 1
Nope, just an honest assessment about last year will do!
How about we skip the resolutions and focus more on some things to consider as you approach the upcoming year? Here are some things I think are important to focus on, dig deeper into and possibly make some changes to set yourself up for success. These are in no particular order nor a complete list. So let's get the year started by thinking about the following so you can reach your finish line.
Take an honest look at your training this past year. What worked? What didn't? Review your stats on Garmin, Strava, or another platform. Do you need more speedwork, back-to-back long runs, or perhaps you're not sure and need a running coach? Was your weekly or monthly mileage where it needed to be to reach your goals? Maybe you need to add strength training, stretching, massage, or yoga to compliment your plan. Whatever it is take a good hard look and make those needed adjustments this year. Plan the work and work the plan!
2. Keep a Training Log
One of the best ways to track progress is by keeping a log. The easiest way for me is to use my Garmin for all workouts and track my progress using the app. If you prefer old-school pen and paper there are plenty of templates out there and even a simple notebook will work. Whatever your preferred method your training log can be a valuable tool.
I have been running and racing for well over 20 years now and still to this day I struggle with my nutrition. As an ultra-runner fuel can make or break a race and I have long survived on Nutty Bars, Pop-Tarts, and a host of other sweet treats. However, as I have aged and my body has changed it's time to rethink my fuel choices and find new sources of energy that will help me be successful as I strive to run bigger and tougher races in 2022. I am looking at not only my food but liquids as well. What works for one runner may not work for you. Evaluate your needs, refer to your log and keep track of your food and drink. Did a pattern develop? Did certain foods give you the energy you needed or make you feel slow and sluggish? Did you get that quick surge of energy only to lose it a short time later? Don't forget those electrolytes either. During those summer months and long hot days, they play a key role in many of the body's functions.
4. Clothing and Gear
Comfort and confidence are my keys here. Are you comfortable in what you are wearing and does it instill confidence on race day? I am a notoriously fussy runner when it comes to my gear. While I may not run in the most expensive clothes or have the top-of-the-line pack what I do have I have confidence in. My clothes won't bug me during the day my pack has enough pockets to store the things I need and have them at the ready with minimal effort.
Still, I am always looking to upgrade, try new things and evaluate if something new might give me that little extra edge. Races are tough enough the last thing I want to do is waste mental energy with concerns about my gear. A quick checklist, Shoes, Socks, Underwear and shorts (tights), Shirt, Hat, even the length of my Buff matters. Hat, Jacket, Headlamp if needed, and finally my pack.
5. Your body
Don't forget the most important thing of all. Your body? Are you getting enough rest? Are you taking care of those nagging injuries or little aches and pains that never go away? Are you checking and evaluating your mental health? You have one body so take a look from top to bottom and see if there are areas that need attention.
Hire a Running Coach at T.R.A.C.
Are you unsure about why or what a running coach does? Get guidance, tips, and training plans from an expert at Total Running and Athletic Conditioning. With over 20 years of experience running, our running coach has developed some wisdom over the years. Take the first step in contacting us today, set up a consultation to learn more, or just jump right in and get your feet wet by creating a coaching plan that day! T.R.A.C. is ready when you are. We are here to help you reach your goals.
Let's all use 2021 as an opportunity to evaluate and learn to make 2022 the best year yet.
Feel free to leave comments, questions or let us know what your goals are and how we can help.