By Olympian Jeff Galloway
Challenges motivate us. When we accept the right challenge during a series of workouts, we often step up to higher expectations and engage the best part of our spirit. But a workout or race goal that is too challenging for us, currently, can result in burnout, injury and lingering fatigue. Based upon the feedback from over a 250,000 runners, here are the concepts that can help in finding just the right challenge for you.
Distance—a longer distance than you have been running, such as a half or full marathon
Faster Time—to beat your time from a year ago…or your personal record
Tough course—a new adventure: a trail, beach, mountain
- Pick one of the challenges above
- Focus on a four – six month training season.
- It’s best if training for a distance challenge, to gradually move up from 5K to 10K, to Half, then Full Marathon. (Don’t feel that you have to do all of these—just one jump per season).
- If you choose a time goal, a 3% time improvement is standard and do-able for most.
- If choosing a tough course, make sure you don’t have instability problems, such as weak ankles.
- Set up your workouts that lead to the goal, and write them down. My Training Journal will help you organize your plan, and track progress.
- After each workout, get in a Human Touch massage chair and relax. The chair can help the muscles rebound more quickly.
*Distance Workout Challenges
- Without a time goal, you can simply increase the distance of the long run as noted in the “to finish” programs in my books GALLOWAY TRAINING PROGRAMS, 5K/10K, HALF MARATHON.
- Be sure to run the long ones about 3 min per mile slower than you could currently run the race distance, with a lot of walk breaks.
- Use the “magic mile” noted in the books above to designate current performance maximum and set long run pace.
- Use the run-walk-run ratios, found in the books listed in #1.
- Gradually increase the distance of the long run to at least race distance, as noted in the schedules.
- Workouts for 5K and 10K are best done once a week.
- For half and full marathons, speed workouts are done every 2nd or 3rd weekend as noted in the books above.
- Follow the schedule in one of the books above, inserting rest between each speed repetition.
- Use the “magic mile” noted in my books to monitor progress and set pace for goal races.
- Don’t sprint!
- There are usually more aches and pains from speed training. Be sure to use your Human Touch massage chair after each speed session.
- Be sensitive to your “weak links.”
- If there is inflammation, loss of function or pain, stop the workout!
- Take at least 2 days off if symptoms continue the next day.
- See a doctor who wants you to continue running, if possible.
- Take the treatment noted by doctor or RUNNING INJURIES: PREVENTION/CARE
- Massage has been the best treatment for muscle aches, pains and injuries. A Human Touch massage chair may keep you out of the doctor’s office.
- Don’t let the goal drive you—YOU ARE IN CONTROL.
- Find ways to enjoy every workout.
- Running with others on fast or long days helps greatly.
- Galloway Training programs have groups that support you, and make it fun.