Runners World Articles: Archives - October 2002
Run Strong All Fall
Hey, just because we call it fall doesnt mean we have to
fall short on our running program. Below Ive outlined three
common problems that can lead to a seasonal drop, along with a dozen
If youve been training throughout the summer for a fall half-marathon
or marathon, your fall running blahs might be caused by anxiety
building before your race.
Here are four easy ways to reduce goal anxiety:
1. Moderate your time goal. You still may hit your original
goal time (which would be the icing on the cake), but meanwhile,
the pressure to perform will decrease.
2. Select a different goal race. Instead of running a full
marathon, run a half-marathon. Or skip your scheduled half-marathon,
and run a 10K. All that training you did for the longer race distance
could pay off big-time in a shorter race.
3. Give yourself time. If you anxiety stems from needing
more time to prepare, look for a race a bit later in the year. Instead
of an October marathon, pick one in November or December.
4. Learn from the pros. I know many world-class athletes
who allow themselves 2 to 4 weeks of super-easy training to reevaluate
their goals when the pressure becomes to great. Follow their lead.
Running through a long, hot summer can take its toll on your body
and your motivation. And when you expect cooler fall temperatures
to arrive and they dont, motivation can slip even father.
On the flip side, other runners flourish during the summer heat
only to become depressed and uninspired as the days become shorter
and cooler.Remember these four tricks when the weather gets you
1. Run before sunrise on hot days, or breaks up the distance
into a short morning and short evening run.
2. Visit a running store to learn about the latest clothes
and gear that will make running in any weather more comfortable.
3. Mentally prepare yourself for all conditions. Periodically
visualize yourself running in all types of weather, smiling, overcoming
your anxiety, and finishing strong.
4. Be flexible with your running schedule. Take extra days
off when the weather wont cooperate. Or head to the gym, and
run on the treadmill.
After a summer of faster and faster race times,, its easy
to expect your success to continue. But at some point, those gains
slow or even stop. This natural plateau in the improvement process
can really depress some runners.
No problem, these four tips will help:
1. Take a 4-week vacation from racing if you dont perform
as well as expected in two races in a row.
2. Remember to celebrate every race you finish. Because there
arent many days when everything can come together for a personal
3. Pick some fun races to run with friends or family so that
you focus on your running partners and not on your time.
4. Introduce another runner to the racing experience. His
or her excitement will kelp rekindle yours.
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