Maximising Your Running Potential: A Year in Review

Insights and Strategies for Long-Term Running Improvement

With Coach Kelvin, Online Running Coach for We Run and the We Run Virtual Running Club, and 1:1 Running Coach for Leeds and surrounding areas

Hi folks, Coach Kelvin here from the We Run virtual run club, also serving as a run coach for Leeds and surrounding areas, as well as offering online coaching. Today, I’m excited to share my insights and strategies for reviewing your training, monitoring progression, and enhancing your fitness over a 12-month period.

Reviewing the Past Year

Let’s start by looking back at the last 12 months. It’s vital to examine various aspects of your training, such as time spent in different heart rate zones, distance covered, long run distances, elevation, and speed zones. Personally, I take a comprehensive approach, focusing primarily on timing and heart rate zones.

Experiences and Learnings

During the past year, my training included several key activities and learnings:

  • Adapting to Injuries: Early in the year, I suffered an Achilles injury while snowshoeing, which required a period of careful recovery upon returning to the UK.
  • Specific Training Blocks: I engaged in specific training weekends in North Wales and the Lake District in preparation for the UTS 50K Ultra, incorporating both high and low-intensity sessions.
  • Race Strategy: The UTS 50K Ultra was approached with an aggressive strategy, pushing hard to expose weaknesses, which offered valuable insights despite the challenging conditions.
  • Recovery and Balance: Post-race, I focused on a short recovery period followed by a three-day running mission with my wife Becky, carrying our own gear and enjoying the hills.
  • Building Strength and Speed: The latter part of the year was dedicated to strength training, including exercises like deadlifts, squats, and calf raises, coupled with a phase of increased volume and speed training.

Planning for the New Year

Looking ahead, I aim to make strategic changes to enhance my performance:

  • Increased Volume and Strength Work: I plan to gradually increase my weekly mileage from an average of 30 miles to around 35-38 miles, continuing my strength training.
  • Focused Speed Training: Incorporating a 5-10K VO2 max phase will help build top-end speed, often overlooked in my previous training.
  • Mountain Training and Specific Goals: While I might not focus on an ultra this year, I intend to build volume and speed until early July, followed by specific training for a targeted 25K race.
  • Aiming High: My goal is to achieve a podium finish in my age category in the upcoming Wild Struble race, a challenging yet exciting objective.
what you need to know
  • Reviewing various training aspects (heart rate zones, distance, elevation) is crucial for long-term improvement.

  • Adapting training strategies in response to injuries and experiences is vital.

  • Balancing different training phases (strength, speed, endurance) enhances overall performance.

  • Setting specific, challenging goals can lead to significant improvements.

what you need to do
  • Analyse your past year’s training data to identify areas for improvement.

  • Adapt your training plan to incorporate recovery, strength, speed, and endurance phases.

  • Set clear, achievable goals for the upcoming year.

  • Be prepared to modify your training strategy based on new insights and experiences.

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