Hi friends! I love this fresh start as we kick off a new year.
As we write out our 2017 intentions, it’s easy to lump together too many goals into one. I’ve definitely been guilty of this!
We love one stop shops -Starbucks in Target? Yes! Smoothie bar in the gym? Please!
But I think we forget that fitness is not a one stop shop. If you have a particular goal… get faster, run farther, build muscle, lose body fat, or lose weight… we cannot achieve all of those at one time.
If you want lose weight, now is not the time to train for a marathon.
If you want to build muscle, you don’t want to be running long and slow every weekend.
Your training should change based on your particular goals. Choose one goal- and then build a plan from there. Without a goal, how will you know if you’re making progress or moving yourself in the direction you want to go?
What might that plan look like?
To get faster…
Spend a few weeks building a strong base mileage with easy miles and then begin with one (or two) workouts per week. Choose a goal. If you want a faster 5k, incorporate one of these workouts each week.
If you want to run a faster distance race, incorporate goal race pace miles into one run each week and occasionally into the long run.
To run farther…
To build for an endurance race, skip the speed work in order to increase weekly mileage by about 10% each week. Build for three weeks, and then cut the mileage back by 1/3 for a recovery week. Add a mile or two to a weekly long run on the 3 week build and enjoy the down week. The recovery time allows your body to adapt and get stronger.
Pick a goal race to give you a timeframe and work backwards from there to plan out your distances.
To build muscle…
Obviously you can’t build muscle if you are running all the time! You must include strength training, which can be with your own body weight or with increasingly heavier weights at least 2-3x per week. Diet plays a huge role in building muscle as well. You must be eating adequate protein, with a good balance of carbs and fat.
Have you ever followed a competitive body builder on Instagram? They will gain weight during their muscle building phase to allow their body to build additional muscle, and will then ‘cut’ back down to reduce body fat in a later phase.
To lose weight…
Although some people can lose weight running distances, our bodies quickly adapt to the demands of endurance and most women will struggle to lose weight with high mileage. Instead, focus on shorter workouts with bursts of higher intensity (sprints or cross training intensity) and incorporate strength training for toning.
A lower training load allows you to regulate your appetite better and dial in your nutrition to reach your weight loss goals.
As I thought through my goals for 2017, I divided them into seasons. I want to improve speed but I also want to improve endurance and distance, so I will take turns focusing on each with race specific workouts.
Do you need help creating an individualized plan? I have a few nutrition and/or running coaching spots opening up – email me and we can chat!
Do you have a specific goal you’re working toward?
Have you ever had a one stop shop approach to fitness, hoping that your workouts would achieve all the goals? (I definitely have!)