09-09-2013

Week 10 of NYC Marathon Training

Another week done. Now we are about to get in the tough portion of Hanson’s Marathon Method…I’m kind of nervous! This week includes 6×1 mile repeats, an 8 mile tempo run, and a 16 mile long run…

Here’s last week’s recap:

Monday:

Track workout.

4×1200 meters with 400 recovery @ goal 5K pace.

We felt really good for this track workout, as opposed to last week’s where we started to doubt ourselves. Our paces were right on the money, and we felt strong overall. Obviously I was tired by the last 2 reps but it always feels good to finish a tough workout. My dad tagged along and did his own track workout because he wants to run the Fifth Avenue Mile with us in a couple of weeks!

Family track workout

Tuesday:

Off

Wednesday:

8 mile tempo run with a 1 mile warm up and cool down. Total=10 miles.

Another great run for us. I felt confident going into this that we could keep our goal marathon pace for 8 miles. While we didn’t hit each mile EXACTLY due to hills, etc., the average pace was good and we were mostly in the range, as seen below (though we definitely started too fast).

Thursday:

Had to move my schedule around because I knew I wasn’t doing my long run on Saturday this week (football game). Today we did an easy 5 miles before heading to a Blake Shelton concert! Who are my country fans?

Friday:

10 mile long run for the week.

When we left, we said let’s just do 8. We were feeling tired and slugging, but once we got out there we felt fine. At mile 8 I said let’s just do 1 more mile, then once we hit 9 we were like, well we might as well make it 10! The weather was great too…though I still get salt stains from sweating too much! Who else gets these?

Saturday:

Early morning 6 miles before heading to the Rutgers football game. Check out this weather??? A little TOO chilly for me but I cant complain.

Sunday:

Was supposed to do 7-8 miles but decided to take the day off. My mom has been feeling really fatigued, and this upcoming week will be a tough one, so we called it a rest day. Hey, we haven’t skipped any days yet in this plan and it’s been 10 weeks! This is the best I have ever done following a plan :)

Do you think taking a rest day before a hard week is ok? One day won’t make or break us right? I was a little paranoid all day about it but it felt good to just relax!

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07-24-2013

Guest Post: Training For Races

I have another great guest post today from Alyssa, who blogs over at See This Girl Run. She is currently training for a marathon, and has a lot of great tips for you, whether you’re training for a 5k or a marathon! I’ll pass it over to her now :)

Hello everyone! My name is Alyssa (a-lee-sa) and I blog over at See This Girl Run. Just as a brief intro, I first started running my 8th grade year with the high school cross country team and ran my 8th, 10th and 11th grade years. I then ran here and there all throughout college but was never very serious about it. This was very evident in my Freshman 10 hanging around for all four years ;) However, I’ve always loved health and fitness. I even majored in Exercise Science! It’s just something I’ve always had a passion for! My senior year of college I signed up for my first half marathon and I was hooked! I have since run 4 half marathons, one 15k and am currently training for my first full marathon. It’s safe to say I love running!
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As I’ve trained for all my of my different races, including my upcoming marathon, there’s been a few things I’ve learned that may help you as you train for your next event.
1) Find and use a training plan
Whether it’s one that you create yourself or one that you find online or in a book, use a training plan! I know that this helps me to know what’s coming up for me as far as workouts and they push me harder than I would probably push myself. I also like to find ones that help me to incorporate a variety of workouts (ie. speed work, long runs, easy/recovery runs, strength training and cross training). One site that I would highly recommend is halhigdon.com. There you can find a lot of different training plans based on the length of the event and your ability level. I used one of their plans for my last half marathon and was able to PR.
For my marathon, I’m currently combining a couple of different things. I’m using a running plan from “Run Less, Run Faster” by Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, and Ray Moss for my weekday runs (awesome book! I highly recommend it) and Tina Reale’s Best Body Bootcamp for my strength training. I’m then doing my long runs on Saturday. So far I’m up to 15 miles and boy oh boy that was far! Good thing I still have 8 weeks to build up my mileage. :)
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2) Don’t chaffe
Full disclosure, I have had issues with chaffing to the point of bleeding on nearly every run I went on, regardless of the distance. So I know from experience that something as silly as chaffing can totally ruin your workout because all you can think about is the pain every time you rub your skin. Discovering anti-chaffing “Body Glide” has been the biggest life saver! Especially if you’re going to be going farther distances, I HIGHLY recommend getting “Body Glide”. It’s worth every little penny.
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3) Track your distance/pace
Find a way to track your distance and pace! For me, this is one of my biggest motivators to improving throughout my run. It helps me know if I need to pick it up or if I’m going to fast (this happens!). I am currently using my Garmin 10 and I absolutely love it. Plus I got it in purple. So cute!
In the past, I’ve also used the “Map My Run” app, which worked wonderfully. Plus, it’s free!! How much better does it get than that?! I’ve also heard really good things about the Nike app from quite a few friends. But regardless of what you use, I guarantee it will be a huge tool in your training and as you try to improve.
4) Learn How to Fuel
Before, during and after training runs and your race! This will make all the difference in how you feel on your run! Remember that as you increase your training, you should be increasing your caloric intake (in a healthy way). Your body is putting forth more effort and you need to give it the fuel to perform at that higher level!
Before your run, you should be eating a simple carb such as a banana or a piece of bread. These break down quickly and will give you quick energy.
During the run, there are so many different options for fueling! My personal favorite is Shot Blocks. They’re easy to eat while you’re running and don’t have a gross consistency, like goos. The fruity taste can sometimes be a little much while I’m running but it’s much better than anything I’ve tried so far. I can also tell a difference in my energy level within minutes of eating a block. These little things have gotten me through many, many miles.
After your run, you need to eat a protein. When you exercise, your muscles are broken down and literally torn. That’s why you’re sore. You have torn muscles! By being torn and built back up, they become stronger. As you eat protein after a workout, it will assist your muscle to be built up that much stronger, therefore making the most of all that hard work you just put in to your run.
5) DRINK LOTS OF WATER
Yes, that required all caps. I can’t emphasize enough, especially with this hot summer weather, how important it is to properly hydrate! According to Jillian Michaels, you should be drinking enough water that your pee looks like lemonade. If it looks like apple juice, you’re definitely not drinking enough. Graphic? Sorry. But it’s true. Drink your water! Get a water bottle that you can take with you throughout the day to work, class, wherever you’re going so that you can constantly drink throughout the day. Your body is 50-65% water, so if you want it to function properly, it needs to be well hydrated!
I hope those 5 tips will help you as you train for your next event. Even if you’re a seasoned runner, these are always good reminders!

Remember to listen to your body (sneaky tip #6). I know you’ll do great! Be careful out there, take care of yourself and good luck with your training!

Follow Alyssa’s blog here or like her Facebook page for post updates. Thanks for reading and I hope you have some new bloggers to follow now! :)
07-23-2013

Guest Post: Running & Motivation

Hi everyone! Today I have a great post by Justin from Always Running Forward.

Sometimes you just don’t have the motivation for a run…let alone a long run during marathon training. Here are some great tips from Justin!

Running & Motivation

Running isn’t easy. You really have to want it to succeed. Running requires a lot of self-discipline, sacrifice and effort to make it work. And, even after you think you’ve found the perfect approach, running will turn 180 degrees and kick you in the face. Sometimes, it’s too much to handle and you just want to throw in the towel, and that’s when you need a good support system. In this sport of self-inflicted torture sometimes you need someone there to pick you up and get you back on track. This can be a family member, a coach, or even other runners who share in the same experiences (I believe the running community is a great example of how camaraderie is prevalent, even in the face of competition). After all, we runners don’t race each other, we race ourselves.

But, what if you are on Mile 18 of a marathon and there’s no support group? What if you are on a long training run, miles from home, and suddenly lost all motivation to continue? What if it’s 5 in the morning and it’s raining? There won’t always be a shoulder to lean on. That’s when we runners need to dig deep and find the motivation within ourselves to forge ahead. Sometimes, it may be a happy thought that gets you through the extra miles, and other times (from what I’ve heard are most effective) are mantras or key messages runners say to themselves to keep going. Finding motivation may be easier for some than others (I sometimes have trouble with it). But, I found some examples of what runners use to keep them going and wanted to share their inspiration through the perspiration.

Here are a few examples. See if they are similar to your methods. If not, what do you do to keep yourself motivated?

Breaking Up the Miles: Especially during longer races, breaking up the race into more manageable pieces may help to keep you motivated during the race. Do the math. If it’s a marathon, I like to break it into two half marathons with the first leg being a slow, methodical half marathon.

Run 1 Mile at a Time: Don’t think about the miles you ran, think about the mile you are running. Put yourself in the now by enjoying your current mile.

Focus On an Object in the Distance: Say to yourself, “If I can just get to that point…” Doing that will get you to focus on the race and not dwell on the mileage number. Refresh every time you get to that point. This is particularly easy for Disney races.

Find Something to Tell Yourself that You Believe In. Don’t say, “If I finish this marathon, the Cubs will win the World Series.” First of all, that’s not personal to your effort. Second, it’s just unbelievable. Instead, say to yourself “This race is mine,” or “I’ve got this.”
Some others:
· “I’m ready for this.”
· “This race won’t beat me.”
· “Another mile down.”
· “Focus.”
· “Speed. I am pure speed” (My personal go-to)
At the very heart of it, motivation needs to be personal to you. You can have all the support in the world, but at the end of the day it’s you logging in the miles and not every mile is going to be sunshine and roses. Hopefully, finding a way to make it just a little bit easier through positive affirmation or race day tricks to manage distance will get you through that next run. See you on the course!

Read more from Justin on his blog!

03-06-2013

Yesterday’s 8 Mile Run

I was so nervous before yesterday’s long run with my half marathon training group. I’m not sure why I get nervous when every week we only add 1 mile, but I’m always scared I won’t be able to finish or I will be way out in the middle of no where with shin pain and have to walk all the way back.

I was pleasantly surprised, however, with yesterday’s run! It was amazing. My mom and I ran a little bit slower than usual, and we just felt great the whole time. The miles seemed to fly by (isn’t it awesome when that happens?). I had no pain, no shin pain…nothing!

When we got back I didn’t have pain either! Last week, as soon as I stopped running my shins were throbbing and walking up and down stairs hurt them. I honestly felt so fresh yesterday once I finished…I think I could have ran 10 miles if I wanted to!

It’s runs like that that give me a runner’s high. Runs like that are why I keep running. It’s amazing what your body can do! I’m excited to keep adding miles, even though each week I know I will be nervous. I’m especially nervous that we will be running 12 during this training cycle. For half marathons, I’ve only ran up to 10 miles! But I think it will make me a stronger runner.

Our half is on April 27 in Ocean City, MD.

Anyone else preparing for spring races?