This article is courtesy of McMillan Running, a recommended resource for distance coaches and runners.
By Greg McMillan, M.S.
A KINDER, GENTLER TRANSITION TO EARLY SUMMER SPEED WORK
In 2004, I helped a very talented runner build a solid aerobic base for the U.S. Olympic trials marathon, only to fail her during the race preparation phase of her training. I didn’t take into account her drive and tenacity, and when I put her on the track, she simply ran herself into the ground. Sound familiar?
As a competitive runner, you have a certain determination, a certain resolve that helps you accomplish high goals. Intellectually, you know you shouldn’t compare early season workout times to your peak season track times from previous years. Emotionally, however, you can’t help it as you drive yourself based on numbers on the watch and the times in your log book. My runner did just that and ended up limping through the trials marathon. The biggest lesson learned? Fartlek runs should be your best friend before the weather warms and races spring up like daisies.