Preparing for Bloomsday
One of the best things about Bloomsday is that no matter your running history, everyone can come together to enjoy one of the best events in Spokane. Regardless if you're a Bloomsday veteran or this is your first time taking part, it’s important to set running goals and write them down. Previous research has shown that those who write down their goals are significantly more likely to achieve their goals than those who do not. Keep that in mind as you look to PR (personal record) for Bloomsday for those veterans or are looking for a certain race pace. That being said, begin by asking yourself a few questions:
- What is your ideal mile pace?
- How many days are you going to run?
- How many weeks will it take to build up your overall race mileage of 12km (7.46 miles)?
Bloomsday is 10 weeks out. That leaves you with 10 weeks worth of opportunities to train for Bloomsday. During this time, I’d also recommend you try to run the full Bloomsday distance at least once, if possible. Answer these questions as you build your training schedule, and don’t forget to make time for recovery before the big day!
Now that you’ve set a goal for Bloomsday, it’s time to establish how you’re going to measure your training progress. There’s a saying in exercise testing, “If you’re not assessing, you’re just guessing.” Did you just run around your neighborhood? How far was that? What was your pace? How has your weekly mileage progressed towards the Bloomsday distance of 12 kilometers? Being able to answer these questions will really help paint a picture of how far you’ve come in your running leading up to the big day. Important: Make sure you celebrate this progress! You are training for Bloomsday, but each day that you can run and work towards improving your health itself is a victory, remember that!
“If you’re not assessing, you’re just guessing.”
Knowing the distances and pace you can run will help ensure that you’re able to crush your running goals when the time comes. There are many wearable technologies from sophisticated GPS monitoring watches, like a Fitbit Versa or an Apple Watch, to more affordable fitness trackers. You can also use your smartphone with applications like Nike Run Club or my favorite, Strava. Strava is a freemium (both free and premium) application that is part activity journal, part social media platform. Besides keeping track of your exercise, you can share your activities and photos with friends, and they can give ‘kudos.’ Apps like these are great because they allow you to log your runs (and other activities like cycling), which you can then look back on to track your progress. In the free version, you’ll see running pace, elevation change, and running route. A neat thing about Strava is that when multiple people run the same routes, Strava will create leaderboards on certain running routes, allowing you to connect and compete with your nearby running buddies. In the end, it matters what you choose to track your running progress, be it a race watch, a smartphone app, or just the display on the treadmill. Logging your progress will help you dial in just how well you’ll perform when Bloomsday comes around.
Another important facet of training for a run that is sometimes overlooked is strength training. Incorporating strength training into your Bloomsday training routine can help with improved running performance and injury prevention. For some specific ideas regarding foot and ankle strengthening, check out our previous blog post, Don't Forget Your Feet When Training for Bloomsday.
One last thing: if you’re looking for more running-related resources, there is a great website called Runner’s World that has tons of great running material such as how to find the right running shoe, or suggestions on how to fuel up for a race. It’s a great web resource for runners from all walks of life (pun intended).