Coach's Corner

Note: I am a newly certified RRCA Running Coach. Everything posted in "Coach's Corner" is my opinion. I am not a doctor or a dietician. As with anything on the internet, take everything with a grain of salt!

The coach has left the building...  I am probably happy walking around meeting Minnie Mouse right now, but I couldn't let you have a week without Coach's Corner!  Although, I'll admit, it was a little hard to write this in advance since I usually get ideas based on runner questions during the week.

Question of the Week: How soon is too soon to run another race after the first?
Answer: First, can I just say how cool it is that I got this question!  In specific, I was asked this by a runner training for her first half-marathon from ground zero.  And I'm sure all can guess with my personal race addiction that I try my best not to discourage people when they have the desire to race, as long as I consider it a safe option.  Let me make sure to specify that I am answering this question from the perspective of the second race being the same distance as the first.  Once you are trained for the first race, your body is trained for the second.  But there are some important things to remember.  If you are truly "racing" the first race (running at faster than your easy effort pace), there will be some recovery.  Even if you feel like you can run the next day, your body IS recovering.  So while I will say that there are exceptions to every rule, I generally think there is no issue with doing another race as soon as 2 weeks later for distances of a half-marathon and shorter.  But (isn't there always a "but") if you're doing them less than 6 weeks apart... I do recommend that you keep your goals for race 2 in check.  In that short of a period, your body hasn't had enough time to both recover and adapt to new speed.  Likely, you will not see a major improvement in time.  It is possible that you might even see a degradation in time.  If race 1 and 2 are less than a month apart, I also recommend running the first race at your normal easy effort pace rather than a "race pace".   This will allow your body to recover a little easier so that you can be prepared for your next effort.  I also recommend, though, if possible (i.e. the race won't sell out and the fees won't go up too much) that you wait until you complete 1 to sign-up for race 2.  I do, however, recommend you get race 2 on the calendar as soon after as possible to keep you on track!!!

Tip of the week:  Goals!

Yes, I know I've talked about this before on the blog, but not since starting Coach's Corner, and I just think it is so important for every runner.  Many of us focus on a race of a certain distance, which is a great goal!  But it is good to have some variety in your goals.  Yes, I said goals.  Plural.  You should definitely have more than one.  The goals should vary between outcomes (finish times) and general performance (keeping an even pace, completing all training runs, etc.).  They should also vary between short-term and long-term.  Keep your goals realistic.  Keep them specific and measurable.  So with all that said, here are some example goals:
- Finish a (5k, 10k, half-marathon) race. (And get it scheduled NOW.)
- Complete X race within Y time.
- Finish feeling good!
- Get to the starting line un-injured.
- Keep a consistent pace during the race.
- Complete all training runs for race X.
- Run at least X miles per (week or month).
- Race in X events this year.
- Cut out food X, Y, or Z.
- Drink 8+ glasses of water a day.
Come on readers, can you share some more goal examples???

Motivational quote of the week:

"If you set a goal for yourself and are able to achieve it, you have won your race. Your goal can be to come in first, to improve your performance, or just finish the race. It's up to you."
Dave Scott, U.S. Triathlete
Note: I am a newly certified RRCA Running Coach. Everything posted in "Coach's Corner" is my opinion. I am not a doctor or a dietician. As with anything on the internet, take everything with a grain of salt!
(Runners and coaches, please feel free to offer more input and/or feedback on these Coach's Corner posts.)
coach's cornerLesley Jones