Many years ago, the late George Sheehan advised us to “run like a child.”  Great advice; we should all bring joy and wonder to our running.  But to this, we should add “but plan your races like an adult.”  Here are some thoughts to keep in mind when putting together your race schedule for the coming year:

Are you racing for fun or with a feeling of obligation?  If you are racing out of habit, and it’s starting to feel like more of a job than a treat, you might consider choosing different kinds or races, racing in other places, or taking time away from racing.

Are you going to try something new?  Variety is the spice of life – spice up your race schedule!  Add different distances or types of races.  How about an obstacle course race, or an adventure race?

What were the lessons of 2012?  Is there anything you can take from your past race experience that could be used to improve your upcoming race performance?  Did you have any injuries that you need to avoid repeating?

Who would you like to race with?  To borrow a phrase, it takes a village to run a race, but you also don’t need to be alone in a crowd on race day.  Before you sign up for any races, find out what races your running friends might be interested in doing.  Sharing an experience – traveling to the race, competing, and celebrating or commiserating afterwards – is a lot more fun than keeping it all to yourself.


About horowitzrun

Jeff is a certified running, cycling, and triathlon coach, and is the author of "My First 100 Marathons" (Skyhorse Press 2008) and "Smart Marathon Training" (Velo Press 2011). An obviously addicted runner, Jeff has run at least one marathon in every state and on 6 continents, including marathons in South Africa, China, Bangkok, and Antarctica. Jeff is available for group, one-on-one, and virtual coaching. Options include: 1. Basic Training Plan. This includes a customized training schedule geared towards a goal race, with a detailed running schedule that would include all distances and target times for each workout, including speedwork, tempo, and endurance sessions. 2. Complete Fitness and Race Plan. This includes the plan listed above, plus the non-running workouts and drills that runners need for better overall fitness and performance. You would get strength & core workouts, as well as run-specific training drills and stretches. 3. Virtual Coaching. This includes all of the above, implemented on a week-by-week basis. We review each week's progress at week's end so that adjustments can be made. The program is tailored to suit you right up to race day. It involves more contact, on a weekly or even daily basis. 4. Full Coaching for athletes in the Washington DC area. All of the above, plus a weekly workout together including speedwork, drills, and strength training. 5. Individual track sessions. One-on-one track-based workouts. Contact Jeff for pricing.
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  1. Reblogged this on Run, Walk, Live in Springfield, Virginia and commented:
    Excellent article. The bigger question which I’ll attempt to explore in my next post, is “Why are you even running?”

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