The COVID pandemic has had a sizable effect on the running community at large. By now just about every race you and I planned on running in the near future is canceled. So I am taking advantage of it, and you should too. Here is my take on how to come out of this pandemic as a better runner. Or “Training When Your Race is Canceled.”
What is Specificity?
First and foremost, we have to understand what the principle of specificity is, and how we can use it to our advantage. Or even how it becomes a detriment. The principle of specificity essentially states that sports training needs to be relevant to the activity for which the individual is training in order to produce the desired training effect. This is where things can go right or wrong, or just become a waste of energy.
Fixing Your Running Form
A bad time to make fixes to running form or any number of issues involving running efficiency is in the midst of training for a race. The brunt of your training is going to be running. Your body has made adaptations over time to run a certain way. As an amazing compensation machine, it has probably gotten quite good at it, even if it’s wrong. If you need to activate your glutes on toe-off and calm down overactive quads, it won’t matter how many bridges and flawless squats you do. You aren’t going to become a glute-dominant runner in the midst of a buildup. At that point, your training has become specific to two things: aerobic output and running improperly. Everything you gained from those squats is separate and nonspecific because you will continue to run incorrectly in training. It’s not impossible to make such strength adaptations specific within a training cycle through the use of various running drills. But you aren’t likely a professional runner that can devote extra training hours within a training cycle to this type of work. The good news is that NOW is a great time to connect those dots and focus on something other than being race-ready.
Work on Strength!
I challenge any runner right now to work on becoming a stronger runner and take the time to work on your weaknesses. Seek help and figure those weaknesses out. This is the time! When a race that piques your interest opens the registration window and you start training, it’s probably too late! In my next blog, I’ll discuss how I’m taking advantage of this time to make a successful comeback to racing.
If you would like to schedule your FREE running assessment with Jake, set up an appointment at the link below.