It’s that time of year. Gardeners can’t wait to get their tomatoes in the ground. The neighborhood kids with Spring Fever are already counting down the days until summer break. Your friend is a-flutter about her upcoming summer wedding.
You? You’ve got summer races in sight, and you’re psyched. With warmer weather comes longer hours in the morning and evening in which to train. And soon nearly every weekend will bring a new opportunity to try your hardest and run your fastest and longest, and maybe even beat your PR.
Whether you’re a newbie just breaking into the scene with your first 5k, or a seasoned running veteran with a few longer races under your belt, training can make or break your race experience and outcome. Here are our favorite tips on how to best train for your upcoming race.
- HIIT for the win. Even if you didn’t realize it, your HIIT classes have been helping to prepare your body for faster running performance. By working your body through cycles of high-intensity intervals of heart-pumping cardio followed by a period of lower intensity, you’re primed to up your running game. One of the best ways to work up to higher running speeds is to work short, 30-60 second bursts of higher speed into your longer runs. Lucky for you your body is already a HIIT dynamo. Increasing your overall running speed will be much easier for HIIT-savvy you, versus another fellow runner who might have to worry a little more about stamina or injury.
HIIT can also be your race day BFF if you’ve got plans for a race of the hurdle-jumping, mud-crawling, wall-scaling variety in the works. These races are a total blast. They’re a fun way to jazz up your usual fitness routine, and it can be exciting to test your athletic skills against your friends’. The variety of explosive and challenging moves your trainer puts you through during studio sessions can make you a “mudder” master.
- Track yourself. Keeping track of your progress can help keep up your training mojo. Plus, keeping a running log can help you to keep a reality check on your progress and realize when you meet training milestones. Check out this site for a list of training apps to help keep you on the right track http://greatist.com/fitness/best-running-apps-faster-smarter
- Make sure your race is right for you. It’s both an advantage and a potential downfall that there are racing events to match every personality and preference. Whether you’re an intense and serious sort, or lean toward the silly side, there’s a race out there for you. Plus, try to position your race as a step toward your overall lifestyle health goal. Do you want to have steady stamina for long distances, or do you want to be quick, fast and furious? Also, think about how much time you have to devote to training. Consider that marathoners devote hours at a time to training on the weekends, whereas 5k-ers can more easily train for just 30-45 minutes or so at a time.
Running can be an exciting, healthy practice to introduce to your exercise routine. And the spring seems like a great time to make it a staple in your workout routine. Whatever your running goal, your FIT36 classes can help you achieve it, 36 minutes at a time.