Getting Organized – One Step At A Time


This morning I thought how easy it could have been to sleep in and miss my running workout.  Monday’s are my hard tempo session days where I do a 2 mile hard tempo followed by a 1 mile hard tempo.  Had I not thought about the workout the night before and prepared, it could have been real easy to hit the snooze button.    What I am talking about is getting organized about your training.  It’s a great habit to form and you can actually shave off time from your day.

Most people, at least if you’re like me, are a little groggy in the morning.  It takes a few minutes for those brain cells to activate.  Even when at full capacity, I find that I am always running around looking for this or that.  If the goal is to be organized, you need a game plan.

Getting Organized – It’s Really Quite Easy.

WEATHER – Check the weather conditions the night before.  Even though forecasters can absolutely blow a weather report, they usually are pretty good at getting it close.  It’s good to know how hot or cold is it going to be?  Is it going to rain or snow? Is it going to be windy?  Stuff like that.

Knowing the weather report will allow you to organize the perfect outfit or at least get prepared for mother nature.  Having an idea of what you wore in previous workouts is helpful, but not required.  This sets you up for success.  Learning what works and what doesn’t at different temperatures allows you to adjust your workout gear accordingly.

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TRANSITION – Find a good place to set out your gear.  It’s almost like setting up a transition area for a triathlon.  Finding the right spot to lay things out makes it super easy the next morning.  I find that having a nice chair to sit in when putting on your shoes and such makes for a smooth transition.

Below is a typical checklist I go through the night before.  I like to start from the feet and work my way up.

  • Shoes (Right now my favorites are Under Armour’s Speedform Gemi 2’s)
  • Socks (Darn Tough, Farm To Feet or Smartwool)
  • Underwear (I wear SAXX underwear for most of my workouts now)
  • Shorts (If it’s above 40 degrees I wear shorts, otherwise I go for tights)  My preference is either SAXXBlacksheep Long John Fly or Smartwool Phd Run Tights.
  • Base – Love Rapha’s Base Layer or some type of sports tank.  (If it’s 55 degrees or above, usually I just need a base layer)
  • Mid Layer – Normally I like Ice Breakers line of gear.
  • Outer Layer – Rapha makes a killer cycling vest called a gilet that I use for running.  Actually I have 2 that are different thicknesses.
  • Hands – I have various gloves/mittens or nothing if the temps are good.
  • Head – I opt for a hat or cap.  My favorite is a wool cap from Rapha.  It just seems to feel the best.  Again hats are a no go once the weather warms up.

Tom’s Monday Tempo Workout

To give you an idea of my what my Tempo workout looks like

1 mile warmup – I usually keep it around a 8:30 Pace
2 miles of hard tempo running.  This is where the fun begins.  Normally I should for around a 6:30 first mile and a bit fast on the second.
1 mile of active recovery trying to stay under 7 minute pace
1 mile of hard tempo running again.  Goal is to run around 6:20- – 6:30
1/2 mile cool down trying to say around 8:30 pace.

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Tempo Run

This workout usually takes about 40 minutes.

Today I felt a little bit peppy in the 3rd mile and was able to go a bit faster than goal pace.

Here is what the Town Lake trail looks like on the weekend.

So give it a go an let us know if becoming more organized helps your workouts.

Tom Crandall

Tom has been writing about running, cycling and fitness since 1988, covering everything from the product reviews to the latest in fitness trends. Tom is the Editor-in-chief of,,, and a few other publications, he began racing in college while getting an Information Resource Management degree at George Mason University. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Austin, Texas, with his wife Kathleen and pug Olaf, Tom enjoys running, walking or riding most every day. Location: Austin, TX USA

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