QT: Use Strategic Thinking to Plan Your Summer Training

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Do you have a big goal race on your schedule for this fall?

Chicago? New York? Marine Corps? Wine and Dine?

Fall can be a great time of year for race weather, but that means that training kicks off in the heat of the summer.

Why not start now?

Why 16 Weeks?

Most training plans are 16-weeks, right?

You do realize there is nothing magical about 16-week training plans, right?

I don’t know the exact history of 16-week plans, but in my experience as a coach 16 weeks tends to be an ample amount of time to get someone ready for a race.

But nothing says you can have a 20-week build. Or 24 weeks. Or however much time you have between now and your race.

The earlier you get starting with your training ahead of a race, the easier it is to adapt and adjust when life, or ridiculously hot summer weather, inevitably happens.

The Summer Heat is Intense!

Strategic Thinking for Summer Training

While having a longer build-up to a race typically provides more options to adapt when life happens, another option is to try and schedule your training with a bit of strategic thinking.

When life just happens, there’s not a whole lot you can do proactively.

You do your best to adjust, and go from there.

But what about the disruptions that are a bit more predictable?

Summer break from school. A vacation or two. Maybe there’s a wedding or family reunion.

No matter how much of a creature of habit you may be, it’s hard to imagine not having something on the agenda this summer that disrupts the status quo.

And odds are, you probably have a bit of notice that said disruption is coming.

This is where a bit of strategic thinking can go a long way.

Make Hay While the Sun Shines

A handful of the #DizRunners are school teachers, which means their schedules are going to open up a bit over the summer.

You better believe that we are planning to make the most of this time, at least for those that have goal races planned for this fall.

If you’ve got a bit of a break to your work schedule this summer, that down time can be a great chance to pump up your running volume a bit.

Plan Cutbacks Accordingly

How often do you do a cutback week?

I don’t have any firm rules for myself or for the runners I coach, but it’s a good idea to mix one in every so often.

If you know there’s a wedding or family reunion that is going to make any sort of weekend long run a real challenge?

Plan to make that weekend a cutback week.

Doing so allows you to enjoy the weekend, and maybe a few extra adult beverages, without any worry about squeezing in a long run.

Embrace Cross-Training

While running through the summer is important, especially if you have eyes on a fall race, don’t overlook the cross-training opportunities that may be present.

If logging massive sweaty miles isn’t your ideal scenario, embrace the opportunity to do some swimming, biking, hiking, or other cross-training activities that may be a bit more enjoyable in the hotest weeks of the year.

Also, if your vacation plans provide opportunities to get out and explore on foot, take them!

The Whole is Greater…

No matter how much strategic thinking and planning you put into mapping out your training this summer, odds are there will be a run or few missed at some point this summer.

Resist the urge to panic. No need to think that all is lost.

Remember, the goal is consistency and not perfection.

And with a bit of strategic thinking, I know you’ll have no trouble being consistant AF with your training this summer.


How much strategic thinking do you put into creating your own training plan? #runchat Share on X

How Busy is Your Summer Looking?
And What are Your Plans to Stay Consistent with Your Training?

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