Don’t Hit the Wall! I’ve outlined TEN steps to help you beat your personal record while running.
One of my #Fandom5 New Years Blogging Resolutions was to make a Boston Qualifying time. Part 1 of my post became about motivation because it was something I started to really struggle with during training and at the actual marathon. Part 2 is specifically about trying to meet a Personal Record (PR).
- Plan Ahead. Come up with a training plan that will work for you. I use Smart Coach on the Runner’s World website. I create a free plan based on my previous run. It is a really great resource. I adapt it where I need, but I follow it as much as possible.
- Sign Up! Remember to allow enough time for training.
- Mix Up Your Runs. Your training program should include 5 types of runs. You may not include every run throughout every week. Often race pace runs and speed training alternate weeks.
- Speed Training: Push AS HARD as you can. For some runs you want to run as fast as you can for a few miles (dependent on how far into your schedule you are). Your speed training should also include speed intervals such as Yasso 800s.
- Tempo Runs: Tempo runs are usually run at a pace 30 seconds slower than your race pace.
- Race Pace Runs: If you are training to beat a PR you need to have an idea of what your race pace is and put some training at that pace.
- Long Runs: It is recommended you run long runs at a pace a minute slower than your race pace. The point is to run slow and steady and train your body for the distance.
- Maintenance Runs: I consider these to be easy, slightly slower, maybe a little shorter, recovery runs. Run at an easy pace and just enjoy the run.
- Speed Training is the most important type of workout to include into your training program if you want to make improvements on your speed.
- Yasso 800s are my favorite. Bart Yasso is a famous coach and he coined the Yasso 800s. He is amazing and the training is fun and challenging.
- Weekly Long Runs. Your long run is SO important. You need to build your mileage and train for the distance. Try your best not to skip these runs.Typically you increase your long run by a mile or 2 each week and back up a few miles every 3 or 4 weeks.
- Pace Yourself. Pacing is important during training, but it is even more important on race day. Your adrenaline will be pumping and the excitement of the race will threaten to boil over. It is so easy to get caught up in the moment and push too hard at the start of the race. Keep your ideal pace in mind and listen to your body. By all means push it if you feel strong but remember to be realistic.
- This site is pretty awesome. Look up the race you are running and it will tell you exactly what pace you need to run at each mile based on the route elevation and your goal: Taz Running
- Running Feul. As I train I usually make a pit stop at home during long runs (10+) to refill my water bottle and grab a banana and some energy balls or an energy bar.
- HYDRATE!!! ALWAYS HAVE WATER! I have started taking a water bottle on race day so I don’t have to stop when the water stations are crowded.
- Energy Gels. I generally eat an energy gel every 7 miles during a race. I always see runners with a belt of gels around their waist and for all I know they need that many, but it seems like overkill. Listen to your body.
- Train Your Mind to Stay in the Moment. Your mind will wander a lot during long distance runs. Try your best to stay in the moment and pay attention to your body. If your mind goes off track your form can be compromised.
- Visualize the Run or Race. Picture yourself running and visualize all the possible situations that could happen at the race. This will help your response if something does happen.
- The Brain Can Be Too Cautious. With mental training, you can push yourself to go beyond what your brain thinks you can do.
- Come Up with a Simple and Personal Mantra. Develop or adopt a phrase or quote, anything, that helps you when you will really need it. You want your personal mantra to push and encourage you. My life mantra is Desiderata by Max Ehrmann but on race day I find myself repeating, “You are strong, you’ve got this.”
- Relax. It is difficult not to have crazy anxiety or nerves right before a race. I don’t think I have ever slept well the night before a marathon. My mind is always racing (get it??) because I am extremely excited and nervous. Try your best to relax and remember that you are awesome. Everything you have trained for has come to fruition. Enjoy it.
- SMILE! Smiling gives you some extra, much-needed, endorphins. Grinning gives you a mental boost, helps you stay positive, and shows everybody you are enjoying yourself. It reminds you to HAVE FUN!
What Goals Are YOU Currently Working Towards?
Disclaimer: Common Room members are not professionals. Consult a personal trainer or doctor before trying any fitness challenges. Results may vary.