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Jogging Group Tip of the Week - The topic this week is Safety.
You probably know that the Greenbelt has a history of public-indecency incidents. This has ranged from flashing to attempted rape. This is unfortunate but, with the right precautions, it shouldn't prevent you from using this otherwise-wonderful running path. And remember that these rules apply to any secluded place:
- Run in a group or with a partner, especially if you're a female
- Stay in well-lit areas
- Avoid isolated areas where someone could hide and nobody would see you if attacked
- Have an "escape route" if necessary
- Have a plan just in case you are attacked (mace, pepper spray)
- Be aware of surroundings. Be on lookout for suspicious people
- Vary your routine if you think someone might be watching or stalking you
- Tell family/friends where you will be running
- If approached or attacked, try to keep your wits and use your head. Make noise. Scream for help. Fight using the hard parts of your body (elbows, fists). Do NOT let the attacker take you to a second location.
- Do not wear headphones because you cannot hear someone approach you from behind.
Track Group Tip of the Week - Peaking
Do you have a special race or season when you try to peak? Or do you run every race all out? A lot of people do the latter. But very soon they find that every race can't always top the last race. Instead of finding out the hard way, you can plan a peaking strategy aimed at certain races or time of the season.
Personally, I like to peak a couple of times a year - once in mid-late summer, and then again in the fall. I use the winter as a time to rest from the intensity of the previous fall. I get in miles, but nothing fast. In early spring I try to run more miles to build my strength, and I might start on some light track workouts. By late spring/early summer, I like to be in "full stride" with my track workouts and tempo runs, so I can peak for several good summer races. Then I might back off for a couple of weeks in order to re-energize for the fall season. I pick up the intensity again and try to peak one more time for some excellent fall races.
I do not go into every race with the idea of running a PR (personal record), or even giving it my max effort. I know some races are "on the way" to my peak races, and it's okay if I'm not quite ready. I might target a handful of races a year where I really want to peak and perform well and all my training is geared toward those races.
If you are targeting a certain race, then it's also important to focus your workouts in the weeks and days prior to that race into achieving a maximum performance. For example, if you are targeting Crazy 8's in mid-July as a peak race, then you want to make sure you sharpen your track workouts the week before the race. The week of the race you might want to do a lighter track workout early in the week, then taper as raceday approaches so you'll be fresh for the race.
If you aren't doing it already, try peaking for a few races each year rather than trying to run every race like it's last race of your career. Use other races as a buildup for the peak races. Sometimes you will surprise yourself and run a great race in one of the buildup races. That's okay!!!