What Are You Working On?
It started with breathing. I remember being out of breath as a new runner and not being able to talk. After a season of running cross country in middle school, I had that down. My new running friends say that is the biggest hurdle.
Then you start to think about your form. Bad form can create inefficiencies and injuries. There are many drills, hip flexor, arm motion, and core exercises that you can do to correct your form. Once you have an efficient stride, you can work on strength through the weight room or just weight-bearing exercises.
Strength and endurance go together. Oops — now you have become a runner and you lost all of your flexibility. (Just ask my yoga instructor.) I have found that a yoga class once or twice a week can really help keep you loose and injury free. Runners can work on speed by doing speedwork and tempo running. Add in hills for strength if you are training for a 5k or 10k.
Now you may have reached the point in your life where you want to challenge yourself for a half or even full marathon, so you find a training plan and bump up your long runs. Sick of road running now? You can hit the trails and work on your mental focus and ankle stability while you appreciate the beauty of the world around you.
Recently I trained to see if I could break 7:00 minutes in the mile. I actually got slower, but the training kept me focused all winter. Currently, I am in triathlon season so I am working on my bike to run transition by doing what tri-geeks call “brick” (e.g., bike-run-bike) workouts. What are you working on?