A Puzzling Approach
Learn to develop a training plan
Developing a training plan for a race or an entire season is much like working a jigsaw puzzle. ...
Photo by Randall Tate
Developing a training plan for a race or an entire season is much like working a jigsaw puzzle. Dumping out a box of tiny pieces that initially all look the same can provoke a daunting question: Where do I begin?
When I was younger, my dad and I would frequently work jigsaw puzzles together. He taught me to first look for the corner pieces, which was sometimes easier said than done—especially with a 5000-piece puzzle.
The key elements of a successful and purposeful training plan are just like the corner pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. 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.
Over my next few columns, I will explain each puzzle piece and how it fits into a comprehensive training plan. The corner pieces are not groundbreaking findings—they are simply tried-and-true training techniques that will help you achieve running success when interlocked.