There are more ways to tell that you are becoming a stronger runner than just judging your improvements off of the amount of time that it takes you to run x amount of miles or the amount of miles that you can run each week. Setting personal records is a great way to show that you are improving but there are other things to pay attention to also!
Here are a few ways that you can measure to see if your running is improving and that all of your hard work is paying off!
– Keep a running journal and note how you feel during and right after specific runs. Over the weeks/months/years look over your notes and compare how you felt then to how you feel now during and after you do the same run. At the beginning of a training cycle I notice that I just want to lay down on the couch all day after I finish a long run but by the end I feel great and ready to take on the day full force after I finish the long run.
– Your form improves= your running is improving. As I become a stronger runner I notice that my form naturally improves. My cadence is better and I am no longer hunched over towards the end of my runs. Keeping proper form (even when you are tired) will show you that you are getting stronger and that your body is able to withstand more and more training!
– You bounce back quicker. At the beginning of marathon (or any race) training you may notice that after your long run or hard workout your body feels sore for a few days and it takes you a little while to get back into your running groove. As your running improves you will notice that your body will recover quicker, you won’t be as sore and you will be ready to go out for another run sooner than you used to.
-Your heart rate. The more you train, the more efficient your heart will become at circulating more oxygen (by your blood) throughout your body. Use a heart rate monitor to track your heart rate and notice over the weeks how the number will probably be lower during the same workouts/speeds compared to what it used to be. You will also notice that you are able to return to your resting heart rate faster after a hard workout than previously—> great sign that your heart is getting stronger and that your body is becoming more efficient at getting the job done.
-You think about quitting less often. I love doing the same hard workout (usually a speed or tempo run) once a week for 4-6 weeks in a row and noticing how each time I do it I think about quitting less often. The 1st time I do it = I think about quitting 4 times a mile and by the last week I realize that I know I can do it and don’t even think about quitting throughout the entire run.
– You are having fewer negative thoughts about yourself and your abilities throughout the run. You start to visualize yourself achieving your running goals and you are ready mentally and physically to push yourself to the next level!
It is going to be a sad day when we have to return to not having 56 different breakfast options each morning at the hotel to choose from.
Another ‘run to the pool as quickly as possible’ day.
The perfect poolside lunch. Maybe we won’t go home.
This doesn’t happen very often but when she does fall asleep on me I take full advantage and soak in every second.
(from MY INSTAGRAM)
Split this goodness and couldn’t get over how creamy and delicious it was.
And now she holds her arm up in the air for me to rub it.
Tough life being an only child.
What improvements have you noticed in your running or fitness in general?!?
Who is running a race this weekend? Tell me about it!!!
Would you rather have cheesecake, chocolate cake, pie or ice cream?
Do you ever train with a heart rate monitor? What has your experience been?