10 Ways I went from 2:59–> 2:49 in a year.

I’ve had a few requests for a post about some of the things that I really think helped me to get a 10 minute (well, 9:55) pr over the last year so here they are:

*I started running with faster people.  Honestly, I think that alone would have brought a massive PR because it made such a big difference for me.  There is nothing to be afraid of, they will cheer you on and try to help you (and if they are rude then you don’t want to be around them anyways ha and you can find other faster people).  They will encourage you to try more, you will have someone to focus on ahead of you to catch and you will be less likely to quit because you see them hurting and not quitting too.

*COACH COACH COACH COACH COACH COACH.  If you want to get faster… please get a coach.  I can’t recommend it enough.  Online training plans are awesome but having a coach to make things more personal for you makes a big difference.  I think having a good coach will take you to your dream times.  They are expensive but if you can find some things to sacrifice during your training (ie eating out or Netflix or shopping etc) it will pay off with a PR.  I truly believe my coach took me to a level I didn’t know was possible and I’m so thankful for that.

*I ran an ultra.  I remember a few of you telling me that my ultra would bring a fast fall marathon and I didn’t quite understand how that would translate over and now I do.  The training for my ultra brought quite the base for endurance and mentally, it made 26.2 miles sound a whole lot easier than 50 miles😉.

*I didn’t stop the mental training.  At one point leading up to St. George this year I told myself that life was too crazy to jump back into my mental training.  I had done a ton of mental training for my 2:59 and I thought that was good enough.  Nope, I feel like that kind of stuff expires if we don’t stay up to date on it.  It’s like brushing our teeth… we can’t just do it all on Monday and forget about it the rest of the week.  We need to work on it daily with small changes in the way we think about ourselves and our running!  Get the Strong journal, this book, this book and this book.  Listen to every episode possible from sports psychologists like this one and this one.  DO THE MENTAL WORK.

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*I trusted the process more than I ever have… which resulted in a lot of time outside of my comfort zone.   This meant racing a lot of 10ks (which my body hates), trying new workouts that I had never done before (which is scary for my brain), doing a carbohydrate depletion (which is my definition of heck) and much more.  The process works so if we can just get outside of what we think will feel nice and safe and do the scary stuff… we will reach our goals!

*I really think these time barriers that we put on ourselves are all mental!  Once we break them (ie the 4 hour marathon, 2 hour half-marathon, 90 minute half-marathon etc etc etc) we just keep breaking them more and more.  We have proven to ourselves that we can do it before so we don’t let that number hold us back like it has in the past.  Maybe we aren’t even in that much better shape but mentally our brain stops holding us back again.

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*I prioritized sleep more than I ever have in my entire life.  I know that isn’t possible for everyone but I really think it helped me.  I said goodbye to TV for a while, I didn’t look at my phone after 8 pm most nights and I just got in bed early.  I can’t imagine doing some of the workouts we did without a lot of sleep!

*I raced a whole lot.  I did more races leading up to this race than ever before.  Races help me to run faster in training (ie I push myself more in a race workout than on a workout without a race) and the more I do, the less nervous I am for the big race I am training for.  The smaller races are the best dress rehearsals and the best way to figure out all of your nutrition.

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*WORK TOGETHER WITH PEOPLE IN A RACE.  This was all brand new to me for my 2:49.  Never had I raced with someone the entire time (we were together for 99% of the race).  I cannot believe the difference it made.  Thinking about how she was doing (how her knee was feeling, how her fueling was going, how her breathing was etc) helped me to think less about the hard things I was feeling.  Her being strong when I was feeling weak kept me chasing after her.  Even the random guy that ran most of the race with us was super helpful because TEAMWORK DOES MAKE THE DREAM WORK.

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*Trails trails trails.  I ran more trails for this training cycle than ever before.  My coach had us on the trails the day after almost every single speed workout.  The dirt is great for injury prevention and they cause you to slow down (all of the UP) and use different muscles BUT they make you so much stronger.   Going up on the trails the day after a speed workout really made me a lot stronger.   Hopefully we can get in a few more this year before it starts snowing.

PS reminder—> I’ve been marathon training for almost 10 years!  It takes time for some of these goals to come around so don’t give up.  Consistency IS EVERYTHING.  PPS the stars all magically aligned a few weeks ago.  Every race is not going to be a PR even if our training is spot on.

QUESTION—> Would anyone like a post where I combine all of the training for this last training cycle (ie the Sunday running summaries that I posted each week) that I did for this marathon into one place?

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And just a few pictures from our Sunday.

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They are thrilled about all of the leaves on the ground… Andrew isn’t quite as thrilled.

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Yes, I was very happy about this.

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We went over to my sister’s house for dinner.

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We had leftover Cafe Rio from my brother-in-law’s work party the day before and it was heavenly!

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Cornflakes in cookies…

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Are amazing.  I used this recipe!

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Today is the last day to enter my running shoe giveaway here!

I am posting YOUR finish line stories tomorrow (all of the goosebumps reading them so far) so if you want to send in your story to share then sent them to —> [email protected]

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Weirdest ingredient that you’ve ever had in a cookie?

What are some things that have really helped you to get your personal records?

Who is just heading into perfect running weather now (ie Florida, Texas etc)?

What was the best part about your weekend?

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39 comments

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Hey Janae~
I’d love a post/place where you put all of your marathon info in one condensed place! You are so right about running with others. We have a local track club that meets every Tuesday, and I’ve never met up with them because of 100 different excuses, but I know it would be good for me!!!!!

The best part of my weekend was trying a new restaurant on a date night with my husband! It was Puerto Rican food, and we had the best sangria, empanadas, and seafood!!!!! Then I had a Reese’s Pieces taco at the ice cream shop :)

Keep on inspiring and being so unselfish in sharing with us!!!!!! Even if I don’t always follow some tips right away, I’m always storing the information away—excellent food for thought, always :)

Have the best week!!!!

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PERFECT!! I will put it all together! Go to the Tuesday track club:) . Wish I could go with you! Ummm I need to go to that restaurant now along with that dessert taco. Drooling. Thanks so much and have the best day Jen!

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Hi. Great job everyone.
I just ran my 7 th marathon. Not a really fast runner and it wasn’t my best but hey. I’m 61.5 years old , have rheumatoid arthritis and was told years ago I’d end up in a wheel chair. I’m happy to run , train , and blessed with many runner friends. Love hearing the stories 😀❤️Jude

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MMmmm we haven’t had café rio in forever. Now I want to go this weekend! Yes–would love a post on all of the marathon info! I’m going to jump on those inspiring books asap. It’s my peak week this week (70 miles last week….whatttttt) and I have two huge workouts so I need all of the positive thinking! Our weather has finally cooled off, but it’s been pouring rain and super windy. So I’m not sure that’s much better haha. As long as it’s not raining on race day I’m fine with it! :)

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I think you are going to need to go get some Cafe Rio asap! I will put all of the training together wahoo. PEAK WEEK and 70 miles last week… Mollie, you are ON FIRE! One mile at a time for these huge workouts… keep calm and trust your body in incredible shape right now. Praying for no rain! Have the best week and let me know how those workouts go.

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I love Knox’s haircut :) And Brook’s Sunday dress – so fall-like and pretty with the sandals!

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*Brooke :)

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Oh thank you so much Amanda! I hope your Monday is off to an amazing start!

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Teamwork and running with someone—I 100% agree! Exchanging encouragement and pushing one another helps so much.
All of my running PRs came in the year after I started strength and interval training. I tested every distance from 1 mile to marathon, and all of them increased by at least 15%. Upper body, core, and squats helped, along with that mental training of pushing through intensity was key for me.
Best part of my weekend: my daughter PASSED her driving test (1st try) and was so proud to drive on her own to dog sit for my parents when they went out of town. [Not that I was totally calm about it, but seeing her confidence was worth my nerves ;)]
And I *really* need to try out Cafe Rio since we have one local now!

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I seriously had no idea how much it would help until I tried it… it’s amazing! Oh I bet strength and interval training made the BIGGEST difference. 15% faster… you are incredible. Thank you for sharing this with me… it’s making me want to go back to Burn! Your daughter rocked it… tell her congrats! LET ME KNOW WHEN YOU TRY CAFE RIO!

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Yes please post your training summary!! I would love to check that out :) Thank you!!

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PERFECT!! I totally will! Thanks Anna and I hope your week is a fabulous one.

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I love everything so nothing has ever been weird, just new :)

For me the mental game is the most important aspect to get me where I need to go.

Yep! Houston Tx here! It’s finally cooling off here and the humidity is a refreshing 85% haha. Where’s my coat?!?!

The absolute best part of my weekend was that my new puppy (4 months old) actually sat on the couch with me and snuggled for like 20 minutes! No biting, no jumping, no chasing the cat…I’m still smiling. Have a great week!

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It really is true… it’s amazing how much our thoughts change our running. Oh just a calm and cozy 85% humidity hahaha. You are AMAZING for running through that humidity. CONGRATS ON YOUR NEW PUPPY! Oh I am so happy for you Jocelyn!

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Omg I feel you with the Houston weather! I’m in College Station, so ours pretty similar. I had a race this past weekend and was laughing as I celebrated 50-60% at the start (though it went up during the race!).

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Yes please post training plan! Also- do you eat pre super early workouts? I do a banana and PB but wondering if not enough for long workouts?

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I totally will!! I do eat for every run now (except during the carb depletion… I couldn’t get myself to eat an egg before a run ha)! Sometimes it’s UCAN, sometimes it’s bread and a gel, sometimes its juice… just kind of whatever sounds good but for big workouts I always use UCAN! I would play around and if you are feeling hungry during your run then I would try some more food before or bring some gels to start taking in early during the workout etc. I hope this makes sense and good luck with your training!

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I’d love to read a summary of your training!!
Best part of my weekend: stepping on the second place of the podium on my first canitrail run with my boy Jungle, 5.6K. Eeek!! We pushed hard and we made it happen!!!
But sadly, the nice running days are almost all behind us. Hopefully we have a nice November with not too much rain (because running in extra cold November rain is NOT fun) and then snow will hit us in December (if not before).

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AHHH CONGRATS!! THAT IS HUGE… second place! So proud of you both! Here’s to hoping that the snow will wait just a little bit longer!

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No perfect running weather in Florida yet… still 70+ degrees and 100% humidity at 5am :-(

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STILL!?!?! WHAT?? I thought it would be cooling down by now! Hope you have a wonderful day Donna!

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Great post Janae and yes please, post a marathon summary! I did Berlin 3.5 weeks ago and due to do Dublin on Sunday and meh … just can’t bring myself to get enthusiastic. Still 50/50 as to whether I do it or not. After all – what do I have to prove?! We’ll see. Anyway, keep chasing your goals and keep sharing your thoughts. Thank you!

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I would love to read the full training summary!

Have you posted your Fenix 6 review? I know you were working on it. I can’t seem to find it if you did post it. Thinking about one for myself but curious on your thoughts!

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I would love a post like that!! My husband and I just raced this weekend in the Detroit Free Press international marathon (him) half marathon (me). We’ve both done fulls and half’s before and are now working on lowering our times. I wasn’t close to my PB yesterday but that’s ok. The only person I’m racing against is myself which is one of the things I love about running! My goal for next year is to crush my current PB of 1:52 and I know I need to incorporate more speed workouts! This race is a great one! You run over the ambassador bridge over into Canada (my home town actually) and then through the Detroit/Windsor tunnel back to the USA! You should totally do it!!

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YES to your question about putting all your training in one post!!!!!!! I’d DIE to be able to have a sneak peek at what you did. My idol!

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Best part of my weekend was my marathon PR :) Probably not going to get a finish line story in by tomorrow but hopefully soon! I do think most of what helped me to get a 7 minute PR was overcoming the mental barrier of thinking I could only go a certain speed. I just pushed myself to go a little faster than I thought I comfortably could and it worked!

My quads are SO SORE still though. Going down stairs hurts so much. Any tips for quad recovery would be appreciated haha.

Also, just saying, from my experience living in Florida perfect running weather didn’t come until like December haha.

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Yes! Please post your training for your last marathon into one post! I would love to see this all in one place!

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Surrounding yourself by people who have had success in what you are trying to accomplish and listen, learn, and be mentored by them.

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I fully agree with you about the mental time barrier. I broke the 60 minute barrier for the 10k five weeks ago. (58.01!) Now I’ve done this, I feel that I can go faster yet. I ran this race with two other women I knew would be about as fast as I am. In the middle of the race I had to work hard to stay near of one of them, once I was over that difficult point I could keep on going. Best part of my weekend was the birthday party we had for our 16 year old twins on Saturday and my run yesterday, just perfect fall weather over here. (today started very rainy though). Have a great day!

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As usual I find myself saying..

I am SO proud of Janae!! 🙌🙌🙌(not just for the PR)

I think we might be looking at a new F•R•I•E•N•D•S title for you……

“The One Where Janae PR’S IN TWO MARATHONS IN ONE YEAR’

🏃‍♀️ ☀️ 🍩 🍪

I printed the post about your religion and have been looking into it lately. I’m very fascinated and curious and cannot wait to learn more. I’d ❤️ If you could sprinkle in some posts about religion on occasion! I know but can be a sensitive subject for some.

Have a wonderful Monday!! 🐾🐾🐾

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Interesting ingredient … I am for sure making those cookies!

We have been in perfect weather for awhile (New Jersey), hoping it lasts before it gets to be winter coat weather!

We got caught up on house projects and got to enjoy the perfect weather that is October <3

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I would love to see your marathon training recap. I only recently came across your blog, so I haven’t read them all of the older posts yet. To be able to get a rundown in one place would be fabulous!

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YES PLEASE to a post with all of your training. I love seeing things that other runners do to train!

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Hi Janae!!
I love this post and I think everything you say is SO true! I ran my second ever marathon in August and got my goal of sub-4 after my first one being 4.45h! So a 45min PR! I could not have been happier and definitely worked SO hard to achieve it.
I did lots of things that you already mentioned, found a good coach that believed in me and made me believe in myself, did lots and lots of mental training (both by reading and by doing hard workouts), strength training 2x week, plenty of sleep, I also “trusted the process” like you said (which was scary as the training was different than I was used to, but I fully committed and it worked!), and finally, I WANTED it so bad! That was a huge driver on race day, just knowing that I did all the work, that I had it in me and that I wanted the sub 4 more than I wanted to stop hurting!

Haha to answer the rest of your questions:
Weirdest ingredient that you’ve ever had in a cookie? – mealworms! I wrote a thesis on the benefits of eating insects and baked cookies with mealworm flour to get people to try insects!! Sounds a lot crazier than it was, I promise!!

Who is just heading into perfect running weather now (ie Florida, Texas etc)? – Me!! Perth Australia is having the most beautiful spring weather at the moment!

What was the best part about your weekend? – It was the perfect mix of being relaxed and busy/social! I saw my friend and her new baby, took the dogs to the beach, did all the house work and also found a few hours to just sit outside and read my magazine :)

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YES! Please post your training in a condensed form! That’d be amazing :)

Best part of my weekend was a 36 hour visit from my sister in law and nephew. We literally live on opposite sides of the country (Washington state and Maine)!!

Speaking of living in Washington – definitely not perfect running weather. Oh well!

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Thanks for sharing all of this and a massive well done on your PR- amazing work! I totally agree about running with faster people and I recommend the book ‘The art of running faster’ by Julian Goater and Don Melvin.

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Janae, this post is wonderful. Thank you for putting all your thoughts together because I think this will help me and many others as we set goals and try to achieve them.
Your hard work and fabulous PR payoffs are beautiful to see! I’m so happy for you.

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I love that our minds have a lot to due with how successful our races can be. I seriously thought running was all physical until I trained for my first marathon. Mental toughness is hard and you make a good point that it is something that needs to be worked on just as much as physically running. Also, an almost 10 minute PR is crazy amazing and you should be so proud of yourself! I love reading your posts because you are always so positive and it is so refreshing! Wilmington, DE

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I would also love a post of all of your training for this training cycle. Thank you!!

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