Tips on how to improve your performance for 2017

A couple of weeks ago I talked about how to start planning for our 2017 training, how it helps to motivate us, organise our schedule, and helps improve our performance.

If you are looking to improve your performance level for the New Year, you can look back at this past year’s training log and focus on some data to make some changes to improve your fitness level.

Depending on your goals for 2017, whether it’s to run faster, or increase your mileage, it is important to focus on some data to make efficient changes. First, start analyzing the past year; previous races, training plans and schedule. You can learn from your past efforts to make next year’s efforts the best they can be.

Look at your mileage

Regardless of your planned distance, your weekly volume is the most important factor to increase your performance and endurance. Every run you do increases your blood volume and the number of mitochondria and capillaries in your muscles, which improves your aerobic capacity. The more kilometres you do, the greater your stamina. To make sure you are running enough for your 2017goals, look at your average weekly kilometres and compare them to the weekly minimum mileage for specific goals.

Weekly mileage for specific distances:

5K Race: 40-48km/ week
10K Race: 48-56km/week
1/2 Marathon: 56- 65km/week
Full Marathon: 65-75km/week
50km Race: 70-100km
100K Race: 75-120km*/week
*The highest weekly kms are aimed for your top training weeks.

Look at your Paces

Each individual has a different pace. While most of your runs should be done at your personal pace, you have to make sure you include some speedwork and hill repeats to improve your pace and performance. You should include two interval sessions/week in your training plan. Running a variety of paces ensures that you reach the specific training zone and it will make you a faster runner. Fast interval training boosts the cardiovascular system, and tempo runs work the metabolic system and easy run days allow for some recovery.
Speedwork Sessions:

-8-16X 400m at slightly faster than goal race pace, with 1min recovery.
-30-60mins tempo runs for half, full and ultra marathon runners.
-3-5X 5min repeats at tempo pace.
-800m at 5K pace after an easy run for half, full and ultra marathoners.
-5-10X Hill repeats with 1min recovery.
Try to include one or two of these sessions weekly and make it fun!

Look at races

Study your past race splits to figure out whether your pace was a bit off in the beginning, middle or towards the end. This will allow you to create proper training plans to improve on your weakness. If you start too fast and then feel the bonking or late-race fatigue, work on pacing yourself at the beginning of your long runs, and aim for negative splits. If you see that mid-race your pace slows down, work on motivating yourself, include positive thoughts. Sometimes when our mind starts wandering, our pace slows down, so we also have to work on focus training.

All it takes to make it a great New Year is to focus on your goals, figure out a training schedule that will work with your everyday life, and motivate yourself by setting some goals that you will find super rewarding:)

Train Hard, Eat Right, Feel Great!