The Conditioning Phase of Training

By USA FIT Tampa Bay

We are in the conditioning phase, the first eight weeks, of training. Our main goals are:

  • to improve overall fitness
  • to adjust to being on a consistent schedule
  • to acclimate to training in the heat
  • to become familiar with our different training locations
  • and to get to know one another

If you feel you are struggling or over exerting yourself, please slow down. Walk or rest as needed. As your body becomes conditioned to the heat, and you build endurance, you can increase your speed and intensity. However, on your easy and Saturday endurance runs, you should always be able to talk to the person running next you without gasping for air. If you can’t, you must slow down. You might want to consider moving down a color group, or a pace group, for a short period of time. You can always move up again when you acclimate.

Heat will slow many runners down whether acclimated or not. A good rule of thumb is 1 second per mile for every degree over 50. Bear in mind, 85 degrees with no humidity, is far different from 85 degrees with 90% humidity. Some runners slow down at least 2 minutes per mile in our Tampa Bay area July and August weather. Just as everybody is different, every body is different.

Be patient with yourself. Yes, its hot, the distances are increasing, and the alarm is going off earlier. Don’t get frustrated and don’t give up. What feels like a long or hard run today, will be your warm up tomorrow. Stay mentally positive – it makes all the difference. We’re here to help you do that.

When the going gets tough, here are some ways to help push your body past it and get your mind back on track:

  • Enjoy the scenery – we’re lucky, we get to train in paradise
  • Drink the water you’re lugging
  • If you’re not a walk/runner, try it for a short time, and slow down until you acclimate
  • Think about your end goal – the feelings you may be having now are short-lived compared to a lifetime of bragging rights
  • Lastly, put into practice what our seminars are teaching you. We have taken great care in creating seminars and selecting speakers that provide sound education and advice to be a successful runner/walker and complete your goals. Now is the time to start trying out the seminar advice, we have loads more to share with you!

Your coaches have tips and stories about how they made it through a tough conditioning phase – just ask them.