Make These 5 Run-Focused Training Objectives for February

No matter what your season goals are for next year, whether to get started in the sport, go longer, or go faster, you will greatly benefit by taking action on these 5 training objectives over the next 2 months.

1.  Determine your weaknesses/form limiters or muscular imbalances during your gait movement:

Ever had an injury, nagging issue, or you simply cannot hold it together on the run like you wish you could? Likely, you have a undesirable movement pattern in your gait that is keeping you from putting it all together. Think about these options to address it.

  • Schedule a time with me to do a personal gait analysis and biomechanical assessment. I will video and review with you on your gait and pick out the most helpful drills to get more efficient with your run. The biomechanical assessment will unveil what is the cause of your imbalances or undesired movement patterns and we can talk about how to address those.
  • If your currently injured, consider one of our hydro run classes on our schedule so you can continue to work on your cardio fitness while you allow the injury to heal. It's no impact, but challenging for the cardio focus. Plus, it will help keep the movement pattern of running fine tuned for yourbody as you are on the injured reserve list.

2.  Determine your training intensities!

Do you know the difference between a recovery run pace and your long run pace? Do you know when you are training aerobically for endurance, or pushing anaerobically and getting winded too easily? Heart rate training has huge benefits and I require my athletes to train via HR if they want to understand how to get better as a runner.

  • At the very least, purchase a heart rate monitor. Learn a little bit about how your body exercises when you train. Monitor the trends with how you felt. Learn how HR is affected by intensity, environment, form, and how to be objective with it.
  • Schedule to get a metabolic VO2 assessment. Knowing exactly where to be on a focused training session, takes a pretty big burden off of the critical athlete. If you want to get faster, you need to know what intensity your body becomes inefficient. Then you should want to train it to get better rather than doing the same intensity every day.

3.  Work on your cadence!

One thing I have learned from coaching many different types of runners and working off of injuries or inexperience, is the critical role stride rate or cadence has on your run form.

  • Aim to get your cadence to 90 strides per minutes or better with one of your feet. (180 for both feet)
  • Find out where your stride rate is. Count your left foot strikes during your run for 20 seconds and see how close you get to 30 foot falls in that time. If you come up short, consider asking me for ways to raising it.
  • Most running related injuries are due to impact from the ground. The other big contributor is overuse related motions. Both can be heavily influenced by a low stride rate which leads to over-striding, harder impacts, and longer time with your feet on the ground rather than propelling you forward.

4.  Get a shoe fitting done or have your current running shoes observed while you run !

The wrong type of shoe for runners can lead to some very uncomfortable training sessions and lead to the nagging issues that occur around the joints or stabilizing muscles near joints.

  • Have your foot type analyzed and work on determining what would be a helpful support level of a shoe to help your foot-strike mechanics. If you haven't already, schedule a time with me to do a personal gait analysis and I will let you know what sort of support you need to look for and provide you with a recommendation for where you will find the best shoes for what you need.  With proper strengthening and biomechanical work, it is possible for your shoe type to change.  If you feel that you have had a change, see me for a gait analysis. 

5.  Accompany your running with strength work, and improving your hip range of motion!

  • Look at circuit, Power Plus, TRX, or Strength Circuit classes on the calendar for the quickest way to address these areas.
  • Look at an upcoming run clinic I offer quite frequently, usually once a month. Here you will learn about stride mechanics, good posture, warm-up routines, stretching practices, and even get a personal run analysis done with video to select areas that are helpful to work on.
  • If the run clinic dates/times don't work well for you, consider just scheduling a personal clinic with me for a time that will work better with your schedule.
  • Again, a biomechanical assessment will identify what strength exercises will address muscular imbalances, or what types of flexibility will give you better control of your movement and reduce the tightnesses.

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