It has been a very mild winter in Minnesota. I have started my spring training work, including several outdoor runs, which have been a real treat. I'm signed up for a couple of spring races, including a half marathon in St. Cloud in April and my 14th marathon in May. Since spring is on my mind, I thought I would offer a few suggestions on late winter things to do, to get you ready for spring and beyond.
- Buy new shoes! If you are running in the pair you bought last spring, it is probably time to think about your next pair. The cushioning in running shoes breaks down with use. I picked up my spring pair yesterday, and knocked off a few miles on the treadmill to test them. I buy the same model of shoe every year, a Mizuno Wave Inspire. It has worked well for me, I see no need to change. I always keep my retired pair to use for shorter distances, or when I am cross-training.
- Check out the clothing clearance sales! Most run stores have their winter running gear at clearance prices right now, to make room for the summer gear. So you can pick up some nice gear for next fall season at a bargain. I grabbed a long sleeve pullover last week for half price.
- Get your plan in place! Training is much easier if you have a plan, it helps to keep you moving toward your goal. To assemble my plan, I use a free Runner's World app called Smartcoach. Just enter in a little information about what you want to train for, and your past performance, and it maps out an entire training plan for you. If you are training for a spring event, I suggest you get a plan in place right away.
- Set some goals for the year! This is another great way to motivate yourself. I mentioned in my last blog that I have completed 1000 miles in 2011, and was setting a goal of at least 1200 in 2012. That is 100 miles a month. Right now, I am about 15 miles ahead of schedule.
Spring will be here before you know it and with it all the spring running events. So start planning now so that you can hit those new goals you set for yourself. See you in the middle of the pack!