I thought I’d share a few training secrets and things that have made me successful in running and racing. Whether you are training for an ultra or a half marathon…not all races and/or training plans are created equal. But there are definitely things you can do to guarantee you arrive to the starting like ready to rock and roll.
1. Find a solid training plan that fits your lifestyle. In the past I’ve tried Hal Higdon’s programs (free and all levels, check them out here) and I have friends that have had lots of success with Hanson’s. You do what works best for you. Since I am a fitness instructor I definitely have to tweak a lot of the plans that are out there. I personally like plans that include the cross training and rest days. Having at least 1 day a week of rest helps me to definitely feel fresh and push harder when I need to. It is all a balancing act.
2. Listen to your body and learn to back off when needed. There will be days when your body is just God awful tired and you just have LIFE stuff going on in general. Don’t let your ego get the best of you. As runners most of us tend to fall more on the Type A perfectionist side and will push when something is hurting you. If your body is telling you it needs rest, listen to it. Supplement that day of running perhaps with an active recovery workout like swimming, yoga or cycling. I promise you, this single tip alone will save you from getting those common runner’s injuries. Believe it.
3. But at the end of the day, being consistent is what counts. If you are healthy and able to follow the plan, try to really stick with it. Some days you may run slower than other days and there will be days when you will feel strong and rock that track workout or tempo run. Ride the wave of good and bad days with workouts and be thankful you have this wonderful ability to run and train. A lot of people wish they could and are just not able to. Know that out there you are definitely inspiring people with what you do.
4. Find friends to train with that will push and motivate you. I have a training buddy that pushes me on days when I am just not feeling it. I love running with her because she’s really helped me get through some tough long runs. We kind of feed off of each other’s energy. I actually love running alone most days too but it has taken me a long time to get to this point. If you are just starting out it’s important to find a friend or group that will hold you accountable.
5. Keep a log of your training so you can see your progress from week to week. Having apps on your phone like Garmin Connect and/or Strava will help you see how you are doing from week to week and especially if you are looking to safely build mileage. I love Strava too because it’s like Facebook for runners and/or cyclists. Find me on there if you join!
What are some of your secrets to training success?