Running is addicting, and it’s easy to get caught up in the “more is more” mentality when it comes to your training. But there are days to go easy, and there are days to go hard. Understanding which days are which is important. 

When looking at your training plan, it can pay off to see beyond the scheduled kilometres, and understand what the purpose of your training for that particular day is. 

RELATED: Training tips: Ignore the GPS and run by feel

Coaching is truly a roller coaster ride and I was on a BIG one this weekend. You feel the highs and lows of every performance. Knowing how hard everyone is working and how much this means to them. I’m very proud of the way the team competed. I know that each and every athlete gave absolutely everything they had. Some will now ride this wave going forward while the others will dust themselves off and refocus on that next opportunity. It really is all about staying positive and believing in yourself. If you can do that you’ll continue to set yourself up for successful days ahead. HUGE Congrats to G on her back to back to back 1500m titles. Alanzo took the U20 800m crown, Ethan for an unreal 6th place finish in the SM 15, Mad K for her 7th in the SW 8 and Lu 9th in the SW 15. #running #racing #keepingitallinperspective #800m #1500m #coaching #trackandfield #represent #uttc #runhappy #ontothenextone

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Terry Radchenko is coach to 2016 1,500m Olympian Gabriela Stafford and the University of Toronto Varsity Blues. Radchenko says the importance of understanding the purpose of your training is invaluable, “Runners want to push everyday, but there are only so many really difficult days that your body can handle.”

“Our team periodizes training. It’s important that the runners know what phase they’re in, and what the purpose of that phase is. For example, when we’re building the base for the season, runs should be consistently easy. There’s no point of throwing something in that’s hard on the athlete’s body. There will be time for that later.”

RELATED: How heart rate training can help you beat the heat

Radchenko said that lots of runners are hard-wired to want to push, but usually it’s more important to train smart than to train hard. 

He suggests paying attention to heart rate as a great monitor of exertion. On an easy day, a heart rate of around 70% of your maximum heart rate is suggested. Your heart rate is accurately found using a heart rate monitor. 

RELATED: Tempo runs: how fast and how long?

If a heart rate monitor isn’t in the budget, running by feel is also very effective. Your body knows how it feels, and it has ways of telling you. Your job as a runner is to listen to it. 

Essentially, understanding the purpose of your training day will help you see that every prescribed element of training is part of a larger plan. When you remember this, it allows the easy days to be easy, so you’re ready to go hard when you’re supposed to. Don’t be a recovery day hero – your body and your new personal best will thank you. 

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