6 Ways To Simplify Your Training With Steve Jones

"A simple activity has been complicated," Jones says. "This is a sport that only requires a half-decent pair of running shoes." Photo: Mark Doolittle

3. Simplify Your Training Locations

Jones usually has his athletes run their workouts on soft rolling trails or unmarked open fields and roads. This way, his athletes can focus on hitting the proper effort level and not a specific pace. Pace, like the terrain, will vary, but the effort you’re putting forth should remain consistent — just like in a race.

Jones’ athletes rarely hit the track, unless they’re gearing up for a track race. The track is like the clock in that it’s calculating and can set limits. It should only be used sparingly in the final transition toward the peak racing period so the athlete can see efforts matching pace, which helps boost confidence.

On recovery runs and easy days, resort back to Rule No. 1: Ditch your watch and either run a familiar loop or an out-and-back route. Or just head out the door and run easy for a set amount of time, with no care for distance covered. On easy days, don’t be tempted to race a previous version of yourself. Whether you’re going hard or running easy, ensure you’re getting what you need out of the day effort-wise.

For most easy or long runs, Jones has his group running the trails along the Flatirons of Boulder. No one can check their watches for mile markers, and the effort of the run is easy to moderate. The key on these days is to just run.

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