Training can get boring – very boring. It’s easy to lose motivation and that’s why I coach every client of mine to find a race or event to work towards. Put something on your schedule. Training with a specific goal in mind puts all your workouts into context. I’ve organized workouts for the last six years around this idea and this summer I’ve taken it a step further.
I scheduled two half marathons for back-to-back weekends. Madison half marathon was May 29 and Iowa’s Dam-to-Dam was the following weekend. Now you might be saying “Hans, if you’re ready for the first, why wouldn’t you be ready for the second?” When you get to the half marathon level, many runners upon completing 13.1 miles will take the next week off or at the most severely decrease their mileage. I didn’t have this luxury. I needed to maintain my stamina and strength for the next weekend. Two components further complicated things: (1) I ran a personal best in Madison, so my muscles were extremely fatigued, and (2) I didn’t have a full week between races. Madison was on a Sunday and Iowa was the following Saturday.
Still, it was a great experience. The excitement between races was a new feeling for me. Rather than peaking at one race for one day (really one morning) I had the feeling of being a competitive athlete for an entire week because I ran and had to come right back and do it again.
Training tips like this help keep things fresh. They’re new and exciting experiences and make for great stories. You may be asking “How did the second race go?” I made an agreement to run with my brother-in-law and his wife so we ran an easier pace the whole way. It was a great decision because it was the smoothest and easiest half marathon I’ve ever ran. I walked away feeling very strong and confident in my back-to-back races.
Are you running any races this year? Certainly it doesn’t have to be at the half marathon level. What about back-to-back 5K? You in?