What are you adding? What are you removing?

Are you planning to try something new this year? If so, have you decided what you’re taking away?

It may seem strange to talk about removing something but, if you’ve already maxed out your training, how can you add something without taking something else away?

No, maybe you haven’t fully maxed out your training but you’ve probably maxed out what you can do within the current context of your life. If you haven’t, congratulations and you can stop reading now.

For the vast majority of us who are still reading, the math is simple. If you’ve already been training up to your full capacity and want to add something new, you either need to increase your capacity or take something away whenever you add something new.

If you’re a less experienced runner, you may still be increasing your capacity as you increase your fitness and you can, at least to some extent, add new components of training without removing others.

If you are making big additions, though, or if you’re more experienced and have less room to increase your training capacity, you need to think not just about what you’re adding but also what you’re removing.

So how do you decide what to remove? By doing the inverse of what you did to decide what to add. Hopefully you took some time for some deep thought on what your weaknesses were, researched how to address those weaknesses, then came up with a plan for what to add.

To decide what to remove, take some time for some deep thought on what you’re doing. What might be redundant? What might not be necessary based on your current strengths and weaknesses or your goals for this year? What just plain isn’t working?

These are the places where you find something to remove.

Remember, you can’t add new things indefinitely to your training without also sometimes removing things. There are only so many workouts you can do in a year. There is only so much time you can spend training. It’s just as important to think about what you are going to remove as it is to think about what you’re going to add.

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