Join the 2014 Holiday Running Challenge
Running during the holiday season can be difficult for most people. Travel, drastic changes in the weather and of course over eating all play their part.
We’d like to challenge and motivate you to stick to a simple running plan. Minneapolis Running is issuing The 2014 Holiday Challenge.
Over the next 58 days, push yourself to hit one of the mileage goals listed below. It will be a great way to stay in shape, and help relieve stress from all the food, family and festivities you are likely to endure.
Why You Should Run Right Now
Did you run a significant race recently? If so, November and December (here to referred to as “the holiday season”) may be your off season.
For the past several years, I have used this time to run less. It gives my body and mind a break from the discipline of running.
In 2013, I maintained about 25 miles per week during the holiday season. I felt great and was able to jump into an intense half marathon training plan for a race I was planning in early spring.
The holiday “base” I built up provided a solid foundation for my entire year of training (including a BQ).
The Importance of Building a Base
The base phase of your training focuses on building aerobic capacity. Aerobic training is training done while “living in air.” This means when your muscles are in the presence of oxygen from not running as fast.
It’s slow and takes time.
Steve Magness talks about the importance of this phase in The Science of Running. He says it develops your
musculoskeletal, metabolic and neuromuscular systems to be able to handle the faster training and allow them to handle a much higher workload before they break down.
Regardless of what your training plans are for 2015, using November and December to start building your base is ideal. It’s a great time to run some slow, easy, unstructured miles. You will be able to build upon this during 2015.
Not convinced? Look at it from Another Angle
You could cut way back, or stop running but for a handful of miles during the next eight weeks. You might gain a few pounds, and when you decide to get back at it in January, you’ll spend most of the month feeling sluggish and tired.
It will also be very cold by then.
Wouldn’t you rather begin 2015 feeling more ready than ever to tackle your goals?
The Challenge Rules
The rules for this challenge are simple.
Run. Record. Repeat.
During the next 8 weeks (58 days from the date of this post), here are four mileage goals I would like to challenge you to.
- 250 miles – 31 miles/week (for those of you who just can’t stop running)
- 200 miles – 25 miles/week (for those of you who have a specific, stretch goal in 2015)
- 150 miles – 18 miles/week (for runners with a goal further away, just trying to stay sane)
- 100 miles – 12 miles/week (for newer runners trying to stay in shape)
Run the suggested mileage anyway you choose, but try to,
- run at least 3 times/week
- do a “long run” of 5 – 10 miles
Make sure your long run doesn’t make up more than 30% of your total weekly miles.
Here is a simple plan if you’re tackling #3 or #4. If you’re planning 25+ miles a week, you likely already have a plan, but contact us if not. Move the days around to fit your schedule.
- Monday: 3 – 5 miles
- Wednesday: 4 – 6 miles
- Saturday/Sunday: 5 – 7 miles
Besides your own personal reward of staying in shape, we’ve partnered with some folks to give out prizes. I’m waiting for the final word back from a few, but Fitsok and Louva, Lifetime Fitness, Training Peaks, Injijni and a few others have confirmed. Stay tuned…
For each milestone you accomplish, you’ll get an additional entry. If you run 250 miles during this time, you’ll get four entries to win. 100 miles, one entry, etc.
If you’re not already on our email newsletter, join here. We send all sorts of great running related content. We will also send you a free training log, and a few updates related to the Holiday Challenge.
Which challenge will you take on? Share it in the comments below.