I’ll never forget this one particular psychology exam during my sophomore year of college. I knew it was coming for at least 6 weeks, and I had access to all the materials and topics it would cover.
But I put off studying until it felt too overwhelming to start.
Finally — the night before the exam — it was off to the library at 8:00 p.m. with a double espresso and a backpack full of unorganized notes.
All night I crammed. And crammed …
… And crammed everything I could fit into that idiotic brain of mine until my eyes would no longer stay open.
By the time I pulled out my pencil the next morning, everything I had just “learned” was so mixed up I couldn’t make sense of anything.
You can’t successfully cram for a test — at least I couldn’t — but can you cram for a race?
How to Cram For Last Minute Training
Recently I’ve noticed the term “cram” used a lot in the running community, but it’s not a new idea.
Most anyone who’s been running and racing for awhile has experienced the last minute cram, whether it was intentional or not.
Cramming for a race is when you skip the full training cycle — which would typically last between 15 and 24 weeks — and attempt to prepare in a much shorter amount of time. Say 6- to 8-weeks.
It’s a tempting approach when you’ve been out injured and unable to train, sign up late for a race, or simply get behind and put off your training.
But you can also cram for a race within the larger picture of your training. That’s what I focus on most in today’s episode of Trail Talk:
Whether or not cramming is a good idea, and what strategies to take when it’s necessary.
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