This is a small bit of advice I most recently shared with my distance runners.
Great article below. Remember, we are runners; we are never out of shape; however, we might need to fine tune our body and mind for racing. When I train, I am never out of shape. Even when my miles are reduced from say 80 per week before a big race, to 30 miles a week the month following, I am just maintaining a good solid base and resting as I gear up for the next mesocycle of training. As a runner, you too must have this mentality. It is not the thought of do I have to run, but when can I run. What do I need to do so that I do not miss a workout. Even easy slow recovery runs are essential in building and maintaining one’s running economy. Missing a workout is not bad. But, consistently missing runs and core work does catch up.
Other things to consider, good runners always pay attention to the small things. I would like for you guys to pay attention to these things:
1. Being a leader on a team. We are not individuals with an individual coach. Those runners are running just for themselves and not for the good of the team.
2. Using practice to help others around you get better. Again, this is a leadership issue.
3. Taking the time to fully stretch. If you are injured it is very difficult to improve.
4. Hydration. Knowing what works for you and always carrying your own hydration to practice.
5. Proper dress for practice (i.e., shoes, tops, shorts, etc).
6. Watch. You cannot get better by running on how you feel. If a runner tells you that, I am not sure if they are “really” getting better.
7. Focus. It is what we do.