“alot of athletes start training hard too soon after the season, before they are mentally ready”.
I could not agree more. There are two important points to this 1) the mental aspect. Even if you are hungry all year along, the attitude you get when you are always chasing new times (because you will be on a steady climb all prime training months along, instead of just as good shape in the autumn/fall as in the spring) cannot be relaced by the steady hard work. If you want exceptional results, you need an exceptional attitude – every single day of your prime training period.
Then you have the physical aspect. Training is really a matter of proper adaption. a) Proper, because you need to do things the most specific as possible. That means even within the running specific frame you need to make wise choices of that is proper. It may “feel” right on your muscular system to train alot at race pace – because you need to “get used to running on this kind of pace”, but on performance it can be a disaster because you do not get the proper internal adaption you need to really perform (like eg threshold running would on 5000 performance) b) Adaption because this is what brings your body to the next level of performance. If you are able to adapt, both mentally and physically all year that would have been great. But it is extremely difficult because you then tend to pleatue too early in the season and do not get the late winter “rush” you need to perform well in the spring transition going into the summer peaks. I like to always “feel like I am behind of the training scheduele, but not more than a week” 😉 That kind of attitude never lets of rest..
Training is going nice and steady at the moment. Because it has been very hard to run good sessions outside recently I have stayed at the treadmill at the top athletics center. Running a mix of longer and shorter intervalls nice and controlled. A little over a month and I will be going south for warm weather training again :))