Certified Personal Trainer Specialist and Robson Street run ambassador, Julie Bertrand, has more than a few races under her belt - to say the least. We asked her how she sets powerful run goals beyond “I run a half-marathon” and how she stays on track to achieve them.
my 2012 run goals
- I run both the Boston and NYC marathons in 2012
- I run a marathon under 3:35, re-qualifying for Boston 2013
setting your run goals
If you set goals you are more likely to achieve the things you want. Choose the race you want to run (huh, what’s a SeaWheeze™?) and the date you’ll be crushing the goal (like, August 11 2012 for example). Already run a half-marathon? Kudos. To challenge yourself incorporate time goals, races you want to qualify for or increase the number of races you want to run each year.
tips to run your best in 2012
set a plan
Each week, plan your workouts in advance. Create a training plan to help you stay on track with your goals and ensure that you progress at the right pace. A typical marathon training program will last 16-20 weeks, whereas a half-marathon training plan can last anywhere from 12-16 weeks. Your long runs should increase by 10-15% each week in order to avoid running too much too soon. Many runners start off too quickly and end up injured because they get excited about the final goal and skip this critically important step.
join a run club
Running in a group helps hold you accountable for your training, keeps you motivated and is also a great way to meet other runners in your community. If you’re from Vancouver, run with me at the Robson Street Store run club, otherwise ask a store in your community for their local run club information.
Incorporate at least one cross-training day per week where you do not allow yourself to run. Try strength training, yoga, Pilates or spinning. This will encourage your body to use other muscles that are not being recruited while running and, in turn, make you a stronger, more well-rounded runner. Cross-training is also one of the best ways to help prevent injuries.
change it up
In addition to your easy runs and progressively longer distance runs, incorporate hill training, speed work and Fartlek into your training
- hill training
Hill training will build power, strength and endurance that will help sustain longer bouts of running. Try this: find a hill that is about 350m (about 1/4 mile) long with a progressive incline. Start by doing a 10-15 minute warm up, then repeating this hill three times before cooling down. Progress gradually to six or seven repeats by the end of your training.
- speed workouts/interval training
This style of training helps develop a faster stride turnover, which will improve your overall running speed. Speed workouts help train your anaerobic threshold (that time where you start being out of breath) so that you are able to sustain harder (faster) running for longer periods of time. These should be short in distance (max one mile) and performed at high intensity.
Ever heard of Fartlek? Swedish for “speed play”, Fartlek is another way to change up your training plan. A bit more on the comfortable side of effort than speed workouts, Fartlek workouts typically last about 45 minutes in length and incorporate a mix of faster-than-usual running for a set time (can be one minute or five minutes) with a rest period. Repeat intervals of this workout to help improve your running speed and endurance!
Any run goals you’re working toward this year? – Oh, did we mention we’re hosting the first annual SeaWheeze™ Half Marathon? Cheers to a new year, new goals and new races.