Eilish McColgan recently set a new European and GB record at 10k at the Manchester 10k in May 2022.
1. Work Backwards. Whatever your biggest goal is - write the date in the diary and work backwards from it. That is your ultimate goal for the year and the race you want to ensure you peak for. All of your other races should be geared towards that aim so don’t be tempted to schedule something the week before - no matter how exciting the race sounds!
2.Ask the experts. There are so many running coaches that it can be difficult to choose where to seek your advice from. But ask your fellow runners and often they will point you in the right direction. I have my own online coaching business - Running Made Easy - and so I know firsthand how much of a difference it makes to have that bit of guidance with planning. But if online coaching isn’t for you - check out your local running club - they will no doubt have other runners gearing up for the same events.
3. Recovery. Stick to your long term vision and schedule races that benefit your final goal with adequate recovery between them. Quality over quantity. Schedule in your last hard interval sessions well before race day. You don’t want all your best work to be done in training! Save those legs for racing.
4. Training Diary. Personally, I love to keep a training diary. It’s so easy to jot down my key races and to plan out the preceding weeks. Some runners like to have it all online - Training Peaks or Polar Flow are both great calendar options to schedule your programme. It’s also good to see how training is taking shape each week and to learn from previous mistakes.
5. Tune up. The last thing you want is to turn up on race day, feeling rusty. So it’s crucial to get some shorter, faster races included into your schedule. All of our runners would be racing around 4-6 weeks before a marathon and 3-5 weeks before their shorter race goals. It gives you a chance to practice pace and to even test out fuelling on some of the longer events.