One of the best things happened today. Because I love wearing the exact same outfit two days in a row, when I reached in my pocket there were leftover skittles from last night. It is amazing what makes my day at 9:38 a.m.
PS it turns out that twice-baked potatoes make great fuel the night before a run. 8 great feeling miles done and done.
Once upon a time (pre a million injuries) I took my marathon time from a 3:20
to a 3:04 within 5 months.
Pink, blue and orange DO match.
As I am in my base training (you can read about that HERE) at this time and looking forward to the time that I will be adding in speed training again I am looking back to things that I did to get my PR’s and become a stronger and faster runner and I thought I would share them with you. This is just what worked for ME.
1. I think that speed work is a REALLY good idea for improving your time but I never did that during those 5 months…I would just try to do the same route a little faster each week but what I DID do was a lot of hill work. Where I live there aren’t a ton of hills. It is easy for me to go out and run 10 miles in one direction with little to no incline.
The summer in between my 1st and 3rd marathons we lived in Cali and in any direction you left from the house there are HUGE hills! I ran more hills that summer than ever and I can’t tell you how much that helped increase my speed. When you are used to constantly running uphill, all of the sudden when you are running on a flat road your pace picks up dramatically.
2. Experience. I had NO idea what I was doing on my first marathon. I went out fast and just tried to keep that pace, I didn’t think about splits or saving my energy. I realized that I needed a game plan for the following marathons. With each race you learn more and more about your body and that you CAN in fact push yourself for 26.2 miles and not die.
3. FUEL. I really didn’t know anything about fueling either. It wasn’t until Billy told me that I should be eating and drinking more than I was during the marathon and training runs that I realized…hmmm maybe having more energy via calories will help me to not hit the wall (as hard). My muscles want to go faster when they are properly fueled! With my PR marathon I fueled every 6 miles and that worked best for me!
4. Mental strength. We will talk all about this tomorrow because I have 28 pages to write about it but training your brain is just as important as training your body. We have so much more potential than we THINK we do. Be your biggest fan.
5. Gear. I switched over to a better pair of racing flats, got a little iPod shuffle (so I wasn’t carrying my phone on my arm the whole time), proper socks (so that I didn’t get blood blisters like I did during my second marathon) and body glide to prevent chafing from slowing me down.
6. I read every ounce about running that I could. Reading about Dean Karnazes, Run Less Run Faster , the Runner’s Body and every word on Runnersworld.com and Runningtimes.com helped me to learn what it takes to increase speed. Billy and I used to go sit in book stores for hours and just read…. I always picked up running books.
7. Cross-training and resting. During this time when I became faster I was PRO at taking days off and cross-training. I never ran more than 4 days a week and personally that is what worked for ME….everyone is different of course:) When I go over 50 miles I start getting injured and how can you get faster when you are always side-lined. Oh yeah, I took ice baths like a champ!
Now I have got to practice what I preach in a little while (after base-building) and I will get those PRs again someday!
PS One more day to enter my Chobani GIVEAWAY!!!
Is getting faster a goal for you or do you run just for the fun of it and if you got faster that is just an added bonus?
Do you wear matching running outfits? Do you plan them out well in advance before a race?
-Usually, I try to be a little matching but the above outfit were the only clean running clothes I had so I just went with it.
What kind of iPod do you use?
Do you live in a hilly or flat area…..how do you get your hill work in?!?!