Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Some things that I've realized- use or lose!

So- I've figured out a lot about running in the last year or so since I've really been hitting the pavement. Here are some of the things that I've realized:

1) Set realistic goals! When you set goals that are too out of your comfort zone, you usually end up failing and then beating yourself up over it. If you have a race coming up, make sure you aim for a faster time then you've ever done, but not too much faster.

2) Baby steps- If you want to run a 7 minute mile and can only run a 8 minute mile, then work your way up. Try to run a mile in 7:45 one week, 7:30 a couple of weeks later, 7:15 a couple of weeks later, and then that 7 minute mile won't seem so crazy. I'm super impatient and have really struggled with this. I usually end up wanting to improve by an entire minute per mile every week, fail miserably, beat myself up, and start the cycle over. I'm not getting any faster by doing this. This also works for trying to extend your mileage. If you want to run 10 miles, but can only run 8, then work your way up slowly. You'll get there! You just need to be patient and set realistic baby steps!

3) Have some fun runs! Okay Adrienne, I know you told me this, but I didn't listen at the time. Now I'm listening! You should just go out there and run at a comfortable pace at least 1X per week. If you are with friends and can talk- that's great! Not every run needs to be speedwork, hills, or trying to break records (I say this humbly!)

4) Eat well! I'm the worst at this one. When I do eat more veggies, fruit, whole grains, and drink lots of water, I feel so much better!!!! Just keep this in mind the next time you reach for the entire king sized Symphony bar (that's my weakness!)

5) If a run gets hard and you want to quit, I challenge you to sprint for 30 seconds, then try and go right back to the pace that you were at (I swear it seems so much easier after this.) If you are on a treadmill and are hurting and wanting to stop, up the incline for 30 seconds- then go back down to where you were at. It feels a ton better!!

Well, these are my words of wisdom. Use them or lose them. I just thought I'd share. You guys are all doing such a great job with your running goals! You all seriously inspire me to keep going. I'm so excited about Ragnar!!!


  1. Um... yeah... 7 minute mile??? I don't think that will EVER be realistic for me. My realistic goal is to just keep running (not walk), and not to die.


  2. Never say never Susan! Thanks for the post Amber. It's good to get fresh ideas of what to do. Along with setting realistic goals I suggest writing them down so you can see your improvement. My guess is you will be surprised at how far you have come. I've learned intervals are very helpful at getting faster. If you don't want to do a structured interval try a fartlek! Yeah I said fartlek. It's where you just run fast for as long as you can then slow down, then when you feel like it do it again. It's basically a very unstructured interval and will help your speed without feeling overwhelmed with the whole interval situation. I'm excited for the Rag Race too chickas!

  3. Yes I think that is a great bit of advice. I hate hate doing speed work and most of the time I don't do it, but as of about a month ago I started to force myself to do it just once a week. By doing this it has helped me to enjoy my regular runs that much more. I can take it nice and easy. I do watch my watch and should prbly set some goals for myself but just knowing that I had that one really hard workout makes the rest of the week seem like a piece of cake! (well most of the time) Oh and fartleks are totally my kind of speed work. I am not very structured when it comes to my running nor do I want to be so running as fast as I can for as long as I can works great! Intervals stress me out and I feel like sometimes because they are so structured I get mad at myself if I think I am not doing it good enough. If that makes any sense. I know I keep going on but I just wanted to say one more thing about #3. It is true, remember to have fun and enjoy the run. When I was training for my last marathon towards the end I was running so much and concerned about how I was doing that I forgot to just run because it makes me feel so good. So don't forget to go out and just run, leave your watch/phone at home. Don't worry about your pace. I like to just put on my ipod and go. Those are some of my best runs anyways because I feel soooo good!

  4. I agree with everything everyone has said. I am a BIG FAN of the eating part as well. The more running I do the more I can see a direct impact on how I feel based on what I ate. No more diet pops and taco bell stops when I am thinking I want to run after. No more eating crap just because you workout hard so you have calories to spare. Eat more, but eat more whole grains, veggies, proteins, the good stuff your body needs. It will thank you for it! You need to eat healthy to feel healthy and I KNOW it makes a difference.

    So that is my two cents.

  5. I love #5! It's soooo true. If you work harder for a few seconds, then your normal pace seems like cake. I'll have to remember that on Sat....

    Thanks Amber!