One of my athletes recently sent me an article from Runner’s World titled “Marathons Aren’t Good Training Runs”.  The article and title are dead-on, and I know it happens more than we would like to admit it; typically from social pressures or the lack of a planned season. I’m guilty of it myself, having signed up for a race, then later regretting or tossing it up as “just a training run”. Never thinking about the impact the distance would have on my body.  Even if you plan on running the distance slow or as a “training run”, you might be sacrificing your longer term goals.

“You’re robbing from your goal to pay for a short term thrill”

Don’t get me wrong, one of the reasons I enjoy running is the social aspect of it and planning a “run-cation” with my friends just blends the best of both worlds. However as is stated in the article “You’re robbing from your goal to pay for a short term thrill”. This is especially true if you have a plan and then decide to add an unplanned event, or have been wondering why your progress has plateaued. If that is the case it might be time to take a step back and reestablish your goals.  Or better yet, plan your season with your coach to make sure that you’re not sabotaging yourself from making progress.

As with most things a few exceptions apply for those piling on the miles. However, most of those are endurance or ultra distance athletes which have not only longed in the volume needed to prevent injury, but have also planned heavy volume weeks as part of their goal race. For the rest of us, a simple plan may prevent you from straying too far and risking injury or just another bad training run. With this being the start of the year, now is the time to plan your season… just make sure you stick to it, or have someone keep you accountable. And whatever you do, try not to cave into peer pressure. But if you MUST enter a race, make sure the distance is inline with your training, which might mean entering a half, 10k or just spectating and enjoying the vacation part of the trip.