Stay motivated by keeping your training interesting. Training for a goal race can become a grind. Avoid burnout by cross-training and by carefully scheduling a few races shorter than your goal race. This will help you test your fitness at various points during your overall training plan. It will also break up the monotony of slugging through your daily routine alone.
I happen to love racing, regardless of my fitness. I have been running cross-country during my build-up to the New York Marathon this November. I am lucky to live in a harrier-friendly part of the country where it’s easy to find some tough, hilly action. Specifically, my four-year path to better health and fitness has led me to the Pete Glavin Upstate New York Cross-Country Series.
This series features five of the best cross-country races in Upstate New York for open and masters (over 40 years old) runners. Runners compete for individual age group prizes and team awards at each race. Spiked hobbyjoggers of all abilities compete for series points, awards, and bragging rights.
These races are perfect for the most experienced post-collegiate young guns and aging age-groupers, alike. The PGXC series is now in its 29th year and was started in 1990 by the late Peter Glavin, a tremendous runner and lighthouse for community service during his life. The five races are hosted by local clubs in locations spread throughout Upstate New York.
I have made many new friends across the state during my first few years of participation in the series. We share stories about our careers and families, swap training plans, and travel the country together to compete against each other and the best in our age groups from here to California.
Give your training a boost by mixing it up with something like cross-country racing. Although you may need to invest in a pair of spikes, a few gallons of gas, and some heavy duty laundry detergent pods, your goal race will almost certainly benefit from the change of pace.
New York Marathon Update:
Eight weeks to go. Dog tired from the mileage (still over 70) but getting stronger. One track session and one cross-country race built into a 17-mile day. Lots of stretching. Lots of foam rolling. Gallons of water, pounds of fresh greens, and a very patient wife.
Thanks for checking in! More next week….