Training: 3 Ways To Stay Sharp Year Round

Having a fitness level high enough to be able to peak for a race in less time than normal is essential for staying sharp. Photo:

Peak For Races With Short Periods Of Heavy Training

If you are successful in maintaining a high level of general running fitness at all times, you can peak for any race in a short period of time by increasing your training load to your maximum limit and prioritizing challenging, race-specific workouts. This gives you the flexibility to race well on the schedule that suits you (provided you avoid making fundamental mistakes such as over-racing). You can peak for a 5K with as few as four weeks of maximal specific training and for a marathon with as few as 12 weeks of such training.

As always, you will need to experiment a bit to find the maintenance training regimen and the peak training format that work best for you, but even in the trial-and-error stage you will probably find that this seasonal approach works better than using separate, whole training plans for every race.

RELATED: 3 Reasons To Not Run A Marathon

This article is adapted from the book RUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel (VeloPress, 2010)


About The Author:

Matt Fitzgerald is the author of numerous books, including Racing Weight: How To Get Lean For Peak Performance (VeloPress, 2012). He is also a Training Intelligence Specialist for PEAR Sports. To learn more about Matt visit

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