If you ask runners what their favourite season to run in, they'll probably tell you spring or fall. However if you're racing in the spring and fall you're putting in the work and training in the winter and summer months.

Stephanieruns Fitness

February 17, 2019 Newsletter

When Are Your PR's Earned?

When you talk to runners about their favourite time or season to run they'll probably tell you either the spring or fall. I agree! There's nothing I enjoy more than fall running. When I can wear my layers, lace up and run almost effortlessly. However today I want to talk about the flip side of those beautiful spring and fall runs and races. In order to race in those almost ideal conditions we need to train in our not so favourite seasons of winter and summer. It might not be so bad if you have a mild or short winter, but if you have a harsh or long winter it can be hard. The same thing is true if you have a harsh, hot, and humid summer. 

Spring races are incredibly popular. In my area there are several large spring races that attract thousands of runners. My area also has four seasons and winter has not escaped us yet. So far this winter we've had insane amounts of snow, extreme cold warnings and an ice storm. All these weather factors do make a difference in your training as you need to put your personal safety first before you race up and run. It is not worth running when it's icy. One slip and fall and you could be benched for weeks or months. This means if you're training for a spring race and have a rough winter in your area you need a back up plan. You might need to get a gym membership for the winter months or even look into an indoor running track.

If you're training for a distance race it's especially important to get all your runs in. You really can't fake your training for a half marathon or marathon and expect great outcomes on race day. What this means is you really need to plan before signing up for that spring race, because you need to consider the weather you'll be training in. Not just the weather you'll be racing in. Look at the the date of the race you want to run, and look back the number of weeks you need to train for that race. Depending on the distance, your conditioning and goals you can be looking back anywhere from eight to twelve weeks. Now consider the weather during that time frame. Are you okay training in this weather? Do you have a back up plan? Most importantly I'd ask myself, "Is this worth it?" At the end of the day we run to add value to our lives. If this is going to be a miserable training cycle we should consider adjusting and refocusing our training.

When you are looking at a fall race, which will most likely mean training in the summer months we need to make similar considerations as we did for winter running. The biggest difference between winter and summer training is obviously the temperature. If you have a hot and humid summer it can be absolutely miserable and even dangerous to run outside. You need to look at the date of your race and look back over the time period you'll need to train and ask yourself is this realistic? There are workarounds to training in the heat just like there are for the winter. You can change the time you're going for a run, and run earlier in the day or later in the day. You might also want to consider a gym membership, preferably one with fantastic air conditioning and do more treadmill runs. Just like training in the winter you have to ask yourself, "Am I going to be okay with training in these conditions?" At the end of the day we need to enjoy our training.

I really hope this makes you press pause and think about the when you'll be running all those miles for the race you want to crush. Your training is what is going to get you to the starting line of your race. You don't earn your personal record or personal best on race day. You earn in in the months before you even line up at the start line. You earn it with all your training runs. You earn it in the mornings, evenings and with all your gym workouts. Bottom line, you need to be okay with the conditions you'll be training in. This way you can set yourself up for success on race day!

Weekly Challenge: Just Run!

This week's challenge seems simple and easy, 'just run!' In today's world of social media and technology it's easier said than done. This week I'm challenging you to lace up, get out the door and just run. No music, no running watch, no social media. Have you watched the television show friends? You know when Phoebe and Rachel go for a run, and Phoebe runs with crazy form because it's more fun? The goal of this challenge is for you to connect with yourself and why you started running.

Remember back to when you started running and you went for that run, the run that secured your love of running? The run that made you a runner? That's the goal for this run. So let's re-energize and put that spark back into your running.

You can either plan a running route or simply lace up and run. Run by how your body feels and aim for the run to be enjoyable. Don't worry about time, pace or distance, just run! Run with your thoughts, or clear your head. Run up some new goals or milestones you want to achieve. Really the possibilities are endless but the goal remains the same. Have fun!

As always I'd love to hear how this goes. Send me an e-mail or a tweet and let me know how much fun you had with the challenge. If you find this challenge difficult, try it again. It can be hard to step away from technology and just run.

Considerations for Winter/Summer Training

So you've decided you're committed to crushing a spring or fall race. You're ready to train in the winter or summer to make this happen, but you're wondering if there are any ways to help make training a little bit more manageable. Of course there is. There are always ways to help set yourself up for success. Let's go over some of those ways.

1) Consider a short term gym membership so you have flexibility with your training. Having access to a treadmill can help keep your training on track if the weather doesn't allow for you to safely run outdoors.

2) Add in a buffer to your training plan. You can add an extra one or two weeks to help account for the weather. This way if you aren't able to to do one of your training runs you are able to adjust your training plan.

3) Adjust the time you run. In the winter you could consider running more midday which should be a warmer part of the day. Whereas in the summer you'd want to run early or late to avoid the heat and humidity.

4) Plan to train with a buddy. If you have a running buddy you're training with it can help keep you accountable and on track!

There are more ways you can adjust your training to set yourself up for success but hopefully this gives you a good jumping off point!

I'm always updating and improving my Training Peak's store. I have lots of different running and strength training plans for sale. If there's something you want me to add send me a message! I also do custom plans and custom coaching.

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Stephanieruns Fitness

461 North Service Rd West
Oakville Ontario,  L6M 2V5 - Canada

Website: Stephanieruns Fitness

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Disclaimer: Always seek medical advice before starting an exercise program. This newsletter is not medical advice. Medical advice should be sought from a medical professional. Stephanieruns Fitness assumes no liability for any injuries or damages as a result of the above content.

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