Advertisements

February Running Recap

February Running Recap

It feels like January was 11 months long, and February was 11 minutes. I’m not complaining because I won’t say it was my favorite month. Has February even ever been close to my favorite? No. Like the month, this recap will be short because there isn’t a heck of a lot to say!

Luckily, compared to many winters we’ve had recently, it wasn’t all that hard to get outside. It’s been much milder.

Miles Run: Around 200

Rest Days: 4

Workouts: 8 Including Lonely 5ks

Races: Cupids Chase 5k (20:32)

Thoughts:

I wanted and hoped to race more than I did. I signed up for another race but things popped up the night before, and I couldn’t go. I bummed but made the best of it. I’ve told myself if I can’t find a race I’ll run a hard 5k alone. I’ve been doing well sticking to that.  The 5k I actually did race, was my slowest but we also ran against a headwind, and I pretty much ran that race alone as well.

Cupids chase 5k race moorestown

I’m slowly coming to terms that this season, while working hard, might not be a “fast” season for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for anyone running a 20 minute 5k, but I want to get back to 18:XX. My body is just not there right now.

me running

February was at least much more consistent than January. In January, I couldn’t get any rhyme in training and often found myself taking at least two if not more days off from running due to things popping up. The goal for March is to be as consistent with running. I am already signed up for a few races including Shamrock Half. At this point, something under 1:30 and close to Carlsbad seems like a dream, but that is the goal.

Posts from the Month:

Hiking:

Hiking Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve (California)
Hiking Anderson Lake County Park
Hiking Los Robles Trail and Open Space
Hiking Marin Headlands (San Francisco)

Product Reviews:

Coros Apex GPS Watch Review
New Balance 1080v9 Shoe Review

Running:

Steps to Increase Mileage and Stay Healthy
How to Run with your Significant Other
Tools to Recover

Finally, as most people know by now I created a newsletter with all things running related including shoe and industry trends. It’s free and if you want to subscribe you can do so here.

Questions for you:

How was your February training?

What are your goals for March? 

Advertisements

How to Beat Race Day Nerves

How to Beat Race Day Nerves

It’s not a secret that I like to race a lot.  In fact, I’ve written posts about how to “race well,” or even “racing my way to fitness”.  It works well for me as I typically train very easy throughout the week.

Since I race so frequently, racing doesn’t make me as nervous anymore.  I get more nervous before a workout than I do before a race.  Thinking out loud, I suppose that has come with both time and just racing a lot.

A few weeks ago, a reader asked me how I beat race nerves and if I would be open to writing a post about it.

The short answer is: race until you’re not as nervous anymore. 

I’m sure you wanted the long answer though.

Here are a few strategies I use to Beat Race Day Nerves:

Before the Race:

Visualize:

This is more something to do before the actual race.  The day before I plan to race (if I plan too), I like to visualize goals and success.  It’s actually something I picked up in collegiate swimming. Running is 90% mental, and if you believe you’ll do well, you’ve already won most of the battle.

Look Back at Your Training Logs:

Look at those workouts you didn’t think you would crush but you did.  This is motivational for bigger races, when you are tapering, or bored.  There is always “that run” during a training cycle that you didn’t think you’d make it through but you did.  Remember that one, versus the ones that you didn’t feel great during.

At the Race:

Stay Distracted:

For some people that are listening to music, for others (like me), that is talking nonstop until the race starts.  If we meet at a race, know that I am 100% cool with chatting up until the gun goes off.  Stay distracted and relaxed.

Get Away from the Start Line:

During shorter races such as a 5k, this is easy because I need to warm up.  I don’t warm up before half marathons (my top 5 half marathons have had zero warmup…maybe some walking).  Getting away from the start line allows you to stay relaxed and not think about it as much.

 

Remember This:

Races are typically the morning of your day.  It’s not more than a few hours of your morning, and when it’s done, you move on.  You are still the same person whether you PR or PW (personal worst).  Your family, friends, and everyone else still loves you.  Sometimes we get too wrapped up in the sport that we don’t think about the big picture.  Before every race, I just think: good or bad, whatever happens…happens and there is no need to stress about it.

You are still the same person whether you PR or PW (personal worst).  Your family, friends, and everyone else still loves you.  Sometimes we get too wrapped up in the sport that we don’t think about the big picture.  Before every race, I just think: good or bad, whatever happens…happens and there is no need to stress about it.

Racing is supposed to be exciting and fun.  You should look forward to it not dread it.  If you dread it, there is no point in doing it right?

Related Posts:

Who Cares Where You Run?

Care Free Training

How to Bounce Back from a Bad Race

Questions for you:

Do you race a lot?

How do you beat race day (or any day) nerves?

Heroes to Hero 5k (18:41)

Last weekend I decided to run the Heroes to Hero 5k.  The race goes to a great cause, and I’ve always wanted to run.  Usually, it’s the same weekend as the Runners World Festival but this year, it worked out I was able to do both.

After a busy couple of days at work, I found myself exhausted.  I woke up Saturday morning extremely unmotivated.  It was spitting rain, and I was tired.  My husband was getting over whatever was going around so equally as unmotivated.  Together we were two excited to race peas in a pod.

We got to the race around 7:30 am.  The race started at 9 am, however, it was a point to point and the last bus left at 8:30.  I’ve never done a point to point bused 5k, so I wasn’t sure even how to warm up.  Ultimately, I ran 3 miles boarded the bus and got to the start.  I can’t say it was my favorite warm-up process, but I made it to the start successfully.  Usually, I like to warm up much closer to the beginning and not sit around for another half an hour.

After getting to the start, I talked to several people including our store owner and another staff member.  By the time I knew it, we were off.

During the first mile, my body felt stiff from waiting.  I didn’t feel bad, but I definitely did not feel good either. The ground was slick, and I just wanted to focus on feeling relaxed.  I went to the race to run as fast as I could for the day.  I wasn’t sure what that was, but I wanted to give it my full effort for the day.  I crossed the first mile in 6:05 which I was pleasantly surprised with.  Definitely one of my faster miles recently.

During the second mile, I continued to focus on progressing through the mile.  I could see the first place woman ahead, but I didn’t think I would be able to pass her.  Around the halfway point, my husband glided by me.  While he wasn’t “all out” racing, he was running harder than usual.  I hit the second mile in 6:04 and was even more pleased.  I couldn’t believe it.

During the third mile, I felt as if I was finally warming up.  I never felt bad. However, I felt relaxed.  Typically in 5ks, I feel like I’m holding on for dear life during the last mile, however, on Saturday I didn’t feel like that.  I wasn’t tired, but I also couldn’t move my legs any faster.

heroes to hero 5k

I ran a 6:01 last mile and finished in 18:41 and as second woman overall.  I was pleasantly surprised with my time.  My huge goal was to progress in the 5k, and I did just that.  I was 19 seconds faster than my previous fastest 5k a few weeks ago.

Progression:

8/20 Run the Runway 5k (20:54)
8/27 Philadelphia Airport 5k (19:45)
9/10 Flying Fish 5k (19:17)
9/23 Cherry Hill Book It 5k (18:59.8)
9/30 Dragon Run (19:06)
10/1
Run for Recovery (19:12)
10/14 Heroes to Hero 5k (18:41)

Question for you:
Do you like to point to point courses?
To be honest, I prefer somewhere I can start/finish near my car.

Why 5ks are the Best

Why 5ks are the Best

It’s no secret that I love racing 5ks. While I love racing in general, 5ks are the easiest to distance to race hard, recover, and race again next week.

Recently I was asked about tips and strategies of how to race and PR.  I can show you what has worked well for me in the past.  Keep in mind I’m not a coach or an elite!

During a 5k, you have two options:

Option 1: You blink, and the race is over

Option 2: You take the race out too fast, and it feels like five back to back marathons.

If you’ve run more than one 5k, you’ve probably experienced both situations.

So first why race such a short tactical and precise race?

It’s clear the marathon bug has bit a lot of people. The word “only” becomes associated with half marathons.

“New Runner” has become associated with those training for 5ks. To be honest, despite being short, 5ks are one of the hardest races distances to run well. There is little room for error.  Thinking out loud, most any athlete can benefit from adding a few 5ks into their training plan.

But Why?

Reason 1: The need for speed: 5ks make you feel fast. Longer distances make you feel strong while shorter distances make you feel fast.

5ks are quick and dirty. 5ks are all of a distance “race pain” in a short amount of time.

Reason 2: Easier to Recover From: If you have a terrible race, try again next week: I’ve had a terrible 5ks only to be followed by an awesome 5k the following week.

A few years ago, I raced one of the most mentally challenging and grueling 5ks I’ve ever run. It was slow (for me), my legs were fatigued, and I felt awful. I had high expectations and fell hard. I was devastated.

What did I do? I rested and recovered.  The following weekend, I ran an entire 90 seconds faster.
Reason 3: Benchmarks:  You can mark your progress. Two years ago in my quest to gain speed back, I raced no less than 30 5ks in a year.  I was able to track my progress and see small results lead to bigger results.

For some people, myself included, seeing progress is motivating. I like to feel like my hard work is paying off!

Reason 4: 5ks are Fun! It’s one of the few distances you can see a range of people finish. It could be someone’s first 5k or someone going for a PR. Either way, you see a broad range of people from every fitness level!

Tips for Racing 5ks:

These are tips that have helped me throughout the years.  I haven’t counted, but I’ve probably run about 100 5ks.  They still remain my favorite distance.

  • Get a good warmup:  While I don’t always warm up for longer distances such as a half marathon, I find I need to warm up at least 2-3 miles with a few striders before a 5k.  You want that blood pumping.
  • Pacing: I’ve learned that you have to give a 5k everything you have and then keep giving it more. If you take out a 5k too slow, you can often regret it in the last mile.  My goal is always to make it through the middle mile.  I remind myself after mile 2, the race is almost over.
  • Run the Tangents: Okay yeah so .1 doesn’t matter, but realistically it does! A tenth of a mile run in tangents can mean an extra 30-40 seconds.  In such a short race, that is even bigger of a deal.
  • The 5k Hurts: Of course it is easier to finish running a 5k versus a marathon, but it is not easier to race a 5k.  The 5k is all of the pain of a half or full marathon in a short amount of time.  Look around while you’re running and you will see plenty of other runners, riding the pain train.

The 5k is a rewarding and fun distance.  Sure, it’s the shortest to complete but that doesn’t make it the easiest!

Incase you missed any of the previous weeks Running Store and Training:
Thoughts While Working in the Running Store
Should Race in Racing Flats?
Are you Getting Enough Protein for Running?

Questions for you:

What is your favorite race distance?
When was the last 5k you ran?

 

 

How to Race Well

How to Race Well

I am someone who likes to race a lot.

Big races…

small races…

short races…

long races…

I like them all!

I thrive on the excitement of races. While every race is not a PR, I have found I thrive on racing frequently.  I also enjoy it.  I like meeting new people, pushing myself to the finish line and getting a good workout in.  Thinking out loud, I decided to compile a few tips and tricks that help me in any of my races.

How to Race Well:

PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT:

I believe that to run a goal race well; you should have a few practice races.

It is good to practice your nutrition, gels, CLOTHING, and pace goals beforehand.  Of course, you can do this in a training run, but nothing beats the real deal.  I know it took me 30+ 5ks to execute and PR at the Flower Show last year.  I highly doubt it takes most people that long.

STAY CALM:

Remember you’ve been preparing for the race. You’ve put in the work, and all that is left is the actual race.

Good nerves are not a bad thing but don’t let them get the best of you.  A while back, I was interviewed on Lindsey Hein’s podcast, I’ll have another.  She asked if I got nervous during races and the answer was not really.  I race so much that while I do have a few nerves and butterflies, it’s never overwhelming because I’ve been in that situation before!

(Race) Confidence is key!

REMEMBER YOUR TRAINING:

Between racing and training, the majority of time is spent training.  Don’t forget about how you’ve prepared for the race. Focus on the good aspects of training.  Let’s be honest, a bad run sticks in our head longer than a good one.  Try not to forget about the good training runs too! Those are what build your confidence!

Before a major race, I like to scroll through my training log and look at the runs I crushed and felt confident!  

I feel a lot better going into a race knowing I crushed goal workouts.

CONTROL WHAT YOU CAN:

After the weather in 2016, I learned to toughen up in bad weather.  Before 2016, I had never really raced in bad weather.  The first five years, I had always lucked out, but very few races ever go smoothly.  It’s important to realize there will always be uncontrollables at a race and how you handle them will define your race!  This is a lesson I’ve learned with running and life.  You cannot control everything.

Uncontrollables can be many things:

  • the race start is late
  • the weather is awful
  • or the course is changed
You can’t control every variable of a race, but you can control how you react.  Every racer deals with the same uncontrollables.  Remember, every racer is dealing with the same issues and we are all making the best of it!

ENJOY THE RACE:

Every race has both high points and low points.  Embrace the good points as much as you complain about the low points.  Even in 5ks, you can have amazing moments and moments you want to forget.

REMEMBER THE END PROCESS AND MEETING YOUR GOALS IS WORTH IT.

Another post you might like: Racing in Undesirable Conditions

Questions for you:

Do you like racing?

%d bloggers like this: