It’s been a long couple of months for everyone, and to think anyone has cruised through this uprising of the COVID era is blasphemy. But we at MUIR have decided, enough is enough (of couch time) and it’s time to get back to training. Whether it’s a personal goal to get back to fighting shape or you have a race on the calendar with fingers crossed race day becomes a reality, getting back on track with your training regimen is going to prove vital to your mental and physical health.
STEP 1 - SETTING YOUR GOAL
Before you jump off the couch and try to go run a casual 50k, let's lay out the groundwork for what lies ahead… granted every day is a new day of information and mandates right now. But, let’s start with the end goal. What do you want to accomplish? Do you have a race in a couple of months? Do you simply just want to get back on the trail with the stamina you once had? Have you set a personal goal where you’ll only be racing against yourself and refuse to quick until you’ve smashed your own records? It really doesn’t matter what the end game is, the important part is laying out a tentative schedule with mile checkpoints to ensure you stay on track thus making the goal obtainable.
STEP 2 - ASSESSING YOUR GEAR
So, for the fun of it, let’s say you’ve got a go big or go home 100 miler in a few months and there is no shame in admitting the last couple COVID months have been less than active. First things first, how does your gear look these days? Shoes still have ample cushioning? Shorts clean and hole free? Have a tech tee to wick moisture and represent your favorite brand? But if you’ve been pounding miles through this pandemic, then jumping into a dedicated training routine will be a little easier since you won’t have those initial build-up weeks to get your stamina back on track. So, let’s say you’ve stayed active and can flip the switch from pure enjoyment to grinding out the miles with sights on the finish line.
STEP 3 - FINE TUNING YOUR NUTRITION PLAN
And while you’re laying out the schedule for the week, remember that if you've never taken a gel during a training run, don't take the gel they're handing out on the course. Don't try anything new on race day. Finding the right nutrition during training is considered by some to be more important than ensuring you’re getting the miles in. Consider all the hard work you’ve put in, showing up to the start line, and at about mile 25 someone is handing out chili dogs. Yes, it might sound delicious but if you didn’t work a chili dog into your training then there is no telling what your body will do with it out on the course… though, we probably all know what a chili dog would do in the midst of an ultra. But finding the fuel that sits well with your stomach and helps push your body further and longer than ever before is crucial to your overall performance and ability to stay out on the course.
- Nutrient-dense real food ingredients that super easy to metabolize.
- The real food ingredients are satiating - you’ll need less to stave off your hunger, which means can go further between feeding sessions, thereby reducing the risk of GI upset.
And while everyone will and should tackle training differently, one of MUIR’s very own is gearing up for his first 100 miler and has shared his weekly schedule of what running combined with MUIR energy gels might look like with the finish line as the light at the end of the tunnel. And keep in mind, that finding the right fuel comes with mixing and matching and ultimately perfecting a combination of flavor and performance profiles that keeps your GI and body smiling.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
When it all comes down to it, it’s important to know that there is no Google search for you to copy and paste into your calendar. You’ve got to set your own schedule based on the availability to get away from the other things going on in your life and finding that sweet spot of daily and weekly mileage that your body can handle. Training, while is goal-oriented, needs to have some element of fun and enjoyment, otherwise, by the time Thursday rolls around the only thing on your mind might be a cheat day. Stay focused and know when you cross the finish line (physical, virtual, or personal) that all of us at MUIR have a huge high five waiting for you.