So you've done all the training to a lead up for a big race, you nailed the race, ran a PB now what? Here are a few tips of what to do next!

Training for a race is hard work, it's a big thing on your mind for anything from a week to more than a year. When the race is over you can feel a little bit deflated both physically and mentally so you have to figure out what to do next for your own sanity

Book another race

The next thing that will probably be on your mind is your next race or event, to keep away from the dreaded 'post-race blues' so have a think about what your next event will be. Are you going to capitalise on your newfound form or are you going to try something completely new?

Work out your new training paces

With your new-found form comes new training paces!

Knowing how to work out your training paces is a good tool to have in your running arsenal, it allows you to train to the level you are and you can then track your improvements. There are a few different ways that you can work this out and can help with that!

Knowing what level you are currently

First and foremost, figure out what level you are currently at in your training. If you are training for anything in particular it’s handy to know your recent time for the distance so you can create a plan to improve it.

If you don’t have this because you’ve been injured or haven’t entered a race recently you can do your very own time trial, for example, a 5K or 10K. Once you have found out your time then you can use this handy calculator to work out your training paces for you once you have inputted your result!

What do your training paces mean?

You will be given a set of ‘training paces’ to follow from this calculator. This is all based on the time you have run recently, so sticking to these paces is crucial for your development.

Easy pace: This is the pace that most of your runs in the week are going to be at. You’ll be running your warm-ups, cool downs and recovery runs all at this effort/pace. Easy running should be comfortable and feel like you can have a conversation with a person next to you.

Threshold: Threshold pace is the effort you should be able to sustain for an hour but when training you normally run at this pace for shorter bouts of effort to build your threshold. Intervals range from 5-15 minutes each and you’ll have short recoveries of around 1-3 minutes after each effort.

Interval: Your interval pace is hard but not all-out running. This pace should feel just faster than a 5K effort and you would only be able to hold it for around 10-15 minutes. Typically with this type of effort, you would run sessions such as 800/1000m repeats at this pace to stress your V02 max.

Repetition: This type of training pace is hard but not necessarily taxing because it’s efforts that are hard but with very long recoveries. The purpose of these types of runs is to build speed and your neuromuscular engine as opposed to VO2 max.

The main thing to realise with your training paces is knowing what pace to run for each workout. You wouldn’t want to run your threshold pace for an easy recovery run because that would be counterproductive and you may have already run a speed session that week, so you’re only adding to the fatigue.

Set some new running goals

Knowing how to set running goals can be a daunting task. Having a running goal, however big or small, can help you to keep focused and motivated as a runner. Your running goals should remain personal to you and relevant to your own training targets.

Making S.M.A.R.T Running Goals

S.M.A.R.T running goals are the best goals that you can set as a runner. It breaks it down for you into chunks and makes you dive deep into the goal rather than just setting one for the hell of it.

S = Specific.

Make your running goals specific to you. Rather than saying you want to run further, which makes your goal very vague. Say you want to be able to complete 5k in under 20 minutes by the end of the year.

M = Measurable.

You need to be able to prove that your running target has been reached. Instead of guessing what time you are running or have run why not invest in a running watch so you can measure your progress?

A = Achievable.

Your running goals must be able to achievable. Be wary of setting a goal that isn’t achievable for you. For example, a non-achievable goal would be breaking a world record when you have been running for only 2 weeks. (Unless you are stupidly talented and if so you need to be racing at the top stage!) A more achievable goal would be completing your local half marathon.

R = Realistic.

Have some common sense when setting goals. Setting a target of improving your 10K time by 20 minutes this year is a pretty difficult target but not impossible depending on your training and running background. BUT, a goal of improving your 10K run time by 2 minutes is likely to be a more realistic goal.

T = Time-related.

Make your goal time-related because you can then create a deadline to work towards. It will inspire you to get out of the door when you realise that your event is in 6 weeks' time! “When I run a parkrun in 12 weeks' time I am going to beat my time by 1 minute” would be a great time-related goal!

Knowing how to set running goals can play a massive part in how well you can achieve your goal! Here are five great examples of running goals that you can add to your training!

1. Run Non-Stop

Running continuously for a short distance doesn’t come as easily to some as it does to others, especially if you are a beginner runner. Setting yourself the goal of running non-stop over a given distance that you decide is an awesome place to begin! Think of little wins with this goal, last week you may make one lap of the park but the following week you can run a lap and a half. Celebrate these small wins because they mean a great deal!

2. Enjoy Your Running

For some people running can be a means of weight loss only rather than running for enjoyment, community, stats or speed. Running can offer so much more, from an opportunity to get away from the stresses of life, to the achievement of finishing an event that you’ve trained months for. Make sure you are keeping your running fun and switching up your sessions, terrain, running with others and not getting overly serious about your running when the enjoyment starts to lack.

3. Run Consistently

You have all heard it before. Consistency is key for us runners. Instead of doing one week of 20 miles and then the next 5 miles, break it down so you are able to do 10-15 per week on a consistent basis. You will reap the benefits more this way!

4. Aim For Specific Running Distances And Train Specifically For Them

Be it anything from 800m, 10km, or even a marathon. Figure out your training and what distance per week you should be running. Not forgetting to mention the speed sessions that give you more bang for your buck when improving for that distance.

5. Enter Your First Race

Completing a race has to be your ultimate goal whether you are the runner that is chasing a time or completing the distance for the first time. It entails every aspect of SMART goal which was explained above. It will put proper focus on your training. When you have an event coming up it inspires you to get out of the door on those cold winter mornings.

So to sum up, pick a race, work out your training paces and set some new goals to smash! 

written by

Marcus Sladden

Digital Marketing Executive from Norwich

Age group: Open

Coach: Marc Scott

Functional Training Strength Training 10k marathon track & field half marathon