It’s hard to believe in about two weeks we’ll flip the calendar to a new year. When I reflect on 2015 my running fell a little short: I had to bow out of Speedgoat 50K due to my summer (un)employment status, I was sidelined with a nagging calf injury and missed one of my favorite races, and I didn’t even come close to my first 50-miler. I could go on, but instead I’ll look ahead to 2016. Whether your year was filled with similar woes or blissful PR’s, I encourage you to do the same.
While 2015 is quickly coming to a close, there’s still plenty you can do to prepare for a successful 2016 running season.
- Review Your Year & Set New Goals
Now is the time to reflect on your year. If you have a training log, pull it out and spend time reviewing it. Be honest with yourself about where things went wrong and opportunities for improvement. It’s also important to learn from and celebrate your success. Use your review to set new goals for 2016. Consider having a two-tier plan. My goal is to run a 50-miler, but if I falter again, I’ll need a plan B.
- Nail Down Your Race Schedule
Given how quickly races can fill up and the amount of time and commitment it takes to train, start planning your race schedule today. Be sure to include a variety of races (see my race guide for ideas). Set calendar reminders so you don’t forget to register for races when they open.
- Listen to Your Body
Lingering tweaks? Sore muscles? Nip these in the bucket before the grumblings become more serious issues. My left calf has been bothering me again (sigh), so I finally went to see a sports doctor who referred me to a physical therapist. Take care of your body now to prevent derailment in the New Year.
- Mix it Up
The legendary George Sheehan once said something along the lines of “runners are only half athletes”—meaning our lower bodies tend to be the strongest while our upper bodies get neglected. No-or-low impact activities such as yoga, biking, swimming, and weights are good cross training options to condition different muscle groups, reduce injury, and improve the cardiovascular system. Decide what’s best for you and start doing it today. [Continue Reading]