Pace Yourself for Running Success in 2022

“On January 1, I’m going to get serious about my training.” 

I hear this often from my runners as a physical therapist. It’s common to have inconsistent training habits during the holidays, but that won’t set you up for success in 2022. 

One of the biggest issues I see with runners is pacing in December. They either push too hard or run inconsistently.  

Here’s some advice to help you hit your race goals while staying injury-free in 2022. 

Watch the video to learn more: 

Don’t Run Too Fast

Runners tend to overreach during the holidays. You may be tempted to run at a pace that’s comfortable hard, but this will increase your risk of injury. 

You shouldn’t be doing speed work aggressively at this point.  Instead, dial it back to a pace that feels easy. 

What pace is ideal? 

If you can have a conversation while running, you’re probably near the sweet spot.  

Keep checking in with yourself to make sure you’re not pushing. There’s always a tendency to drift into running “comfortable hard.” If you’re not training for anything soon, it’s unnecessary to push at all. 

Run Consistently

A lot of runners will shut down during the holidays, but I advise against it. 

It’s important to have consistency. Your body gets used to the impact of running and what it does to your muscles, ligaments and joints. If you only run sporadically, you will start to lose your tolerance which opens the door to injury. 

At a minimum, you should be running 3x/week for at least three miles (5km).  Even during weeks that get away from you, a few runs of 15-20 minutes can still carry benefits over not running at all. 

What’s the most you should be running right now? 

The maximum amount you should be running is 60% of your goal mileage. For example, if your training peeks at 50 miles or km/week in 2022, don’t exceed 30 miles/km before you start training.  

Key Takeaway

If you’re training for a race in 2022, it’s crucial to pace yourself and run consistently. Doing so will give you the best chance to reach race day fully prepared and injury-free.  

By keeping your pace on target right now, you will set yourself up for success in 2022! 

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