Preseason Running Tips

These preseason tips will help you get the edge! Do you want to dominate this season?  You better come prepared by running during the preseason for either track or cross country.  The competition is probably working hard.  These tips will make you better than the competition because you will be working hard and smart!

Train hard, and more importantly, train smart! The Track or Cross Country season may be fast approaching. Before this season begins, logging some miles is a must. Most serious runners do this, but there are some things you need to be aware of when you are building that base. Here are the rules I try to follow. The first list is a brief explaination of my preseason tips. For more details keep reading! Also, feel free to watch the video presentation on how to run during the off season.



There are three ways to approach the preseason running. First you can join another sport to keep you active. You'll stay in decent shape, but not necessarily running shape. The second option is to run distance runs consistently. This is a great way to improve your aerobic strength that is necessary for any race 800 meters or longer. If you're really serious about dominating during the track or cross country season, then mix in some running workouts along with your distance runs. Below are even more details on how to make the preseason count.

1. Set a smart preseason goal.
2. Don't increase your distance ran per week by more than 10%.
3. Make sure you have a fresh pair of shoes.
4. Find a running buddy.
5. Always work speed training into at least 1/2 of your runs.
6. Be active by doing more than just running.
7. If you are training in the summer, stay cool with these tips, or stay warm with these winter running tips.

So you want the full explanations of my preseason tips. Wonderful! Remember, knowledge is power. You want to get that edge, so keep reading.

1. Set a preseason training goal. You have to know what you are working towards to see big improvements. Make sure they are smart goals. Every week you need to set a new goal that helps you build towards your total preseason training goal, and ultimate racing goal.

2. Don't increase your distance by more than 10% each week. That means if you put in 30 miles one week, the next should be only up to 33. You can keep adding up the miles week to week, but be smart. Doubling your miles from one week to the next is a recipe for disaster.

3. Do you have new running shoes? Chances are, you probably have your old cross country or track training shoes. Go out and get a new pair if they are 6 months old, if you put 500+ miles on them, or if they are worn down. Your shoes provide the only barrier between you and the rough terrain. (Well, I guess your socks are there too.)

4. Get a running buddy. This is the fastest way to promote team success as well. Find someone near your own ability and get out there. It is easier to get out the door when another person is meeting you to run.

5. Work in some speed training. This is my secret weapon for huge improvement. Everyone who logs in miles will probably improve. If you want a big drop in your times, add speed work in at least half of your runs.

There are two ways to work this in easily. Adding pick ups in a run is the first method. This is where you increase your pace for a 30 to 60 second burst. The other way is to do strides at the end of a run. You have to keep speed in mind because all distance runs will be at a slower than race pace. Remind your legs what it feels like to go fast.

6. Stay active. Don't just run in the preseason. Do some cross training by biking, or swimming at the local pool. Play some games like basketball, soccer, or ultimate frisbee. Get that heart rate up. Don't sit and rot in front of a TV screen or computer monitor.

7. Training in the summer requires some necessary precautions. Stay hydrated, wear your sunscreen, and get the right clothes for the heat. Winter Running also requires some preparation. Stay warm and keep dry in the cold or snow on your runs with these tips.

Just for fun, take your camera for a run in the fall. This is the prettiest season by far in Wisconsin. It's when every tree turns to a flower. Well, not every tree because coniferous trees just stay green, but I digress. See my fall running tips here.

There you have it. It is easy to exactly how to get into great shape, but it's much harder to do. Are you committed? Do you have what it takes? Set your goals high and stay motivated. Follow these preseason tips, get out that door and make it happen.

- Written by David Tiefenthaler

Related Articles

- Preseason Tips for Runners
- Running Workouts
- Smart Running Goals
- 100 Day Marathon Plan
This article was written by David Tiefenthaler, the founder and main contributor for Tips4Running.com. In addition to running, he's also an author, and a full time teacher.

You can follow David on Twitter @Tiefsa or visit his blog
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