8 WEEKS TO GO
Break Up Your Workout
Sharpen up with 4x1200m repeats with 2 mins rest. This workout is a good way to get the body ready to transition into workouts for the Advanced competitor. If you decide to complete these repeats at your local athletics track, break the repeats into 3 distinct laps with goals for each lap.
Lap one you should complete comfortably, relaxing your shoulders and your arms. Lap two pick up your cadence just enough to move from comfortable to uncomfortable. If you feel like you are tensing your body remind yourself to relax. Lap three means you are almost done so you can take it through as hard as you feel you can without becoming distressed. Keep in mind that if this is the first repeat you have three to go! Pace yourself!
Run With Someone
Don’t run alone. Find a partner, or a group to train with, not only will it make your training feel more enjoyable, if you find a partner who can run as fast or faster than you then you’ll perform even better.
Work out your race goal pace as a team and pick one run a week to complete together where you support each other to hit your targets. Take it in turns of leading each interval repetition or kilometre depending on the type of run you choose. Taking it in turn to lead means that you will give it your all every time you lead as you won’t want to let your partner down. The same rings true for sitting in behind your partner as you won’t want to be left behind.
Training together and helping each other is a positive way to replicate race conditions.
4 WEEKS TO GO
Have you practiced your pace for race day?
Try using 1km intervals to help you practice the pace that you are going to run on race day. Depending on your level you can start with either 4x1km, 6x1km or 8x1km resting for 1-2mins after each interval. The goal is to be able to run all the 1km efforts at an even pace. Try to avoid running too fast in the first interval. It is far better to run your last one faster than your first than the other way around.
What to do when your training partner can’t run.
Training together and helping each other is a positive way to replicate race conditions. What do you do if your training partner gets sick or injured and can’t train anymore? Find a new partner…obvious right! But not so easy with a month to go!
Set up a music playlist which runs through the course of your training session. Relaxed music for the warm up, a little upbeat for the first third of the session, another notch up for the middle part and your absolute favourite for the final third. Finish off with a relaxed set of tracks for the warm down and you have your substitute for a few sessions.
You can then start competing with your playlist, attempting to get to a certain point on the path at the end of each song and see if you can beat it next time. An entirely new way of training!
Have you completed your dress rehearsal?
You can complete all the training in the world, but if you don’t get your hydration and nutrition plan right two days prior and race morning it may not be the fairy tale you were hoping for.
Don’t over hydrate, a common mistake people make from time to time as there will be plenty of fluids on the course. Keep an eye on the weather and drink often and naturally in the lead up to the race. If it is going to be extra warm you don’t need to drink copious amounts of sports drink prior, just increase your water intake and add a little salt to your food.
Practice what you will eat the night before and the morning of a few weeks out. Eat the exact things you plan to eat on the Saturday on a Saturday prior to the event. Then the exact things you would eat on the morning of.
I tend to keep it simple, rice and veggies with a little chicken the night before, toast and a coffee the morning of (about 3 hours prior). Keep it simple and don’t eat too late the night before.
Don’t sweat it if you’ve missed a few runs.
The weather in Melbourne is always full of variability. There’s nights where it is hard to get out in the rain and complete every training run on your list. If you miss a training session don’t try to make it up later in the program as you will run with risk of overloading too quickly and this quickly leads to injury and illness.
If you follow a simple formula of not increasing your training load more than 10 percent off the previous week you have a better chance of making it to the start line in the shape of your life.
What is the first thing you are going to do when the race is over?
Whether we like to admit it or not, rewards are a great way to keep motivated. Who plans their next holiday the day after they arrive home from one? Planning a massage, drinks with friends, a special dinner or just a good old sleep in helps us focus on the light at the end of the tunnel when training gets hard.