With lots of races and events having been postponed, it looks like Spring/ Summer 2021 is gonna be a busy one. And as a self confessed runner re-starter, I’ve let my running slip over the past couple of months even though I have my first event in just a few weeks. So how do we get back on track?
Create A Plan
First up, create a plan using the time you have left. Even with just a few weeks, it’s a good idea to start to build some consistency, to prepare you both physically and mentally. You’re unlikely to break records with minimal training, but it’ll make the event more fun, if it isn’t more effort than it needs to be.
This also includes making a plan for race day itself! It’s been quite a while since we’ve toed a start line, so follow this 6 day race prep guide to ensure you turn up feeling your best.
Dress For Success
With the ever unpredictable weather, it can sometimes be hard to know what to wear running in Spring. Whereas in Winter, it’s all about keeping warm, in the Spring, you need to find the balance between being warm enough at the start and end of your run, yet keeping cool during your run.
I’m typically always overdressed; I’d rather be too warm than feeling cold!
If you’re looking to pick yourself up some new kit, then I’ve got some recommendations from lululemon. Their kit is great quality, made from technical fabrics and will last well if you take care of them.
I’ve sharing some lululemon running leggings, tops and shorts options, with what to look for and the features that make them so great.
Spring Running Kit Picks From lululemon
lululemon Running Tops
The Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve 2.0 is a firm favourite of mine, having made it into my cycling kit picks too. It can be worn on its own or as a base layer, and underneath a jacket if it rains.
I also picked out a short sleeved version – in a shorter ‘race’ length – for days where I’m confident the weather will be good. If you prefer the usual longer length, they always have plenty of colour ways to choose from.
I’m currently wearing:
lululemon Running Leggings & Shorts
Personally, I’m a leggings kinda gal all year round. I know. I went for the Swift Speed HR Tight which have pockets on the thigh – perfect for a phone when you’re not wearing a jacket /armband. They’re full length, with a high waistband and adjustable continuous drawcord waist to ensure they stay secure. Also with a pretty decent sized zipped pocket on the back for keys / money or other small items.
When I do eventually opt for shorts, they’re likely to be ‘cycling’ shorts, which seem to have regained popularity over the past couple of years. So a longer length, stopping just above the knee and if they have pockets – Fast And Free Short 10″ – even better!
These lululemon running shorts actually have 2 thigh pockets like the Swift Speed HR Tight and also 5 pockets in the waistband. As well as the same high waistband and adjustable continuous drawcord waist to get the best fit.
I’m currently wearing:
Mix Up Your Sessions
When I used Couch to 5km I found that I lost interest and motivation when the sessions became just running, with no intervals. So sometimes it can be good to mix up your sessions. Running intervals will allow you to work on increasing your speed too!
Here are some examples of running intervals you can use for 10km training:
You can either do these on a treadmill or outdoors by putting the workout into your GPS watch. If you have a Garmin, you can find some instructions here.
Beginner – 6-8 x 200m Rest 2:00 between sets
Intermediate – 8-10 x 200m Rest 2:00 between sets
Beginner – 2-3 x 800m Rest 3:00 between sets
Intermediate – 4-5 x 800m Rest 2:30 between sets
Beginner – 8-10 x 200m Rest 2:00 between sets
Intermediate – 5-6 x 300m Rest 2:00 between sets
Beginner – 3-4 x 800m Rest 3:00 between sets
Intermediate – 4-5 x 800m 600m active recovery
Beginner – 3 x 1000m Rest 3:30 between sets
Intermediate – 4 x 1000 Rest 3:00 between sets
The goal with these sessions is to maintain a similar pace for each of the intervals.
Gaining an understanding of what paces you can hold for different distances (e.g 4, 5 & 6 miles) will help you to avoid pacing errors in your races. Tempo and time trial runs – like the Cooper Run Test – should be used as tools to gain understanding of the paces you can maintain at particular distances beyond 5k. Achieving this will enable you to gain an idea of a sensible starting pace when you run your 10km race.
Other Ways To Keep Running Fun
- join a local running club
- run with a friend
- register for parkrun, ready for it’s return in June
- run a new route
Anything else you do to get back into the swing of running?