Training: 3 Ways To Stay Sharp Year Round

Most training plans focus on one race, so use these tips to keep your fitness level high throughout the year.

Every day I receive e-mails from runners (and triathletes, but I wish to focus on runners in this article) who are following or have followed training plans that I created for one of my books or for a magazine article. Many of these questions are versions of one question, which is essentially this: What do I do if I want to peak for more than one race within a span of time that is shorter than the duration of your training plans?

This question cuts to the heart of the greatest limitation of the prefabricated training plans that I have created in such abundance. Whereas my training plans treat individual peak races in isolation, in the real world most competitive runners take a seasonal approach to the sport, giving more or less equal importance to several races taking place between spring and fall. There’s nothing wrong with this approach. In fact, it is the racing approach that most elite runners (except marathon specialists) practice too. The question is, how does one practice a seasonal approach to racing most effectively? Simple: Heed the following three simple guidelines.

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