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Megan Lizotte July 25, 2012 TWEET COMMENTS 2

Developing a Training Plan Part IV: Lifestyle

The key elements of a successful training plan are just like the corner pieces of a jigsaw puzzle—find them and it’s easier to fill in the rest.

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Photo by Kevin Winzeler

The key elements of a successful training plan are just like the corner pieces of a jigsaw puzzle—find them and it’s easier to fill in the rest.

Through my experiences as a running coach and elite runner, I’ve identified four training “corner pieces” that will help you to develop reliable and predictable performances: simulation, effort, consistency and lifestyle. Last column, I discussed consistency (you can read that post here); this month’s segment is lifestyle.

As I have said before, the corner pieces are not groundbreaking findings; they are simply tried-and-true training techniques that, when interlocked, will help you achieve running success.

 

The Fourth Corner Piece: Lifestyle

An elite runner’s daily life often revolves around a routine schedule: eat, sleep, run and repeat. Incorporating a structured approach like this into your own training will not only provide more purposed training, but will also lead to enhanced performance.

As repetitive—and potentially boring—as this elite-runner lifestyle might sound, eating, sleeping and running are arguably the most important elements of training and the commitment extended to those areas often dictates progression and therefore success. Realistically, though, not everyone has the same amount of time, energy and money for training, so it’s important to balance what is important to you independent of running with your training.

 

Commitment

Like anything else, if you want to do well at something, like running, you must be committed to working hard and making decisions that reflect your goals. For example, my client Tanya is not a morning person. However, she lives in Arizona where temperatures this time of year average well over 100 degrees. The coolest time of day is between 4 and 5 a.m. She’s training for a marathon and wants to run a PR (personal record) this fall and knows that there is no way she can efficiently complete her workouts in the heat of the day. So she forces herself to get up at 4 a.m. because she’s committed to seeing the clock at the finish line read well under 3:50.

Simply setting an alarm for 4:30 a.m. won't always get you out the door. Recruiting friends to consistently run with is a great way to remain accountable to yourself, your training and your running partners. Creating an environment that is conducive to and supportive of your training greatly increases the likelihood that you’ll follow through with your daily training plan. Additionally, surround yourself with like-minded people who have accomplished similar goals. Consider joining a running club, or hiring a running coach for both support and training advice.

 

 



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