Here are seven practical tips to help you run faster in your next race.
1. Run fast more often. You should be running a fast workout every week. In order to run faster in a race, you have to practice running faster. Intervals. Fartleks. Tempos. Just do it.
2. Dedicate 10 minutes after your run to a runner-specific strength workout. I try to do this after my treadmill runs. I need to start incorporating this into my outdoor run workouts, too. It is crucial for injury protection and will aid in your running form.
3. Complete a long run every week. Endurance is key to faster race times. If you are training for a 5K, a long run may be 3 or 4 or 5 miles. It’s not supposed to be fast. That’s why they call it LSD (Long, SLOW, Distance). Every two to three weeks, add a mile to ensure you keep improving. In my current training, I ran 2 15-milers for two consecutive weeks followed by an 18-miler, last week I had a 12-miler and this week I had another 15-miler. Gradual increases.
4. Strides should be done several times a week. Strides will help recruit more muscle fibers, improve your stride mechanics and help your other workouts feel slower. Strides are simply 100-meter accelerations, where you build to about 95 percent of your maximum effort, hold for a few seconds, and then gradually slow to a stop. Take a full minute of walking or standing in between each stride.
5. Run more. You got it. Put in more miles. Endurance is the easiest way to improve for most of us. Use the 10% rule when adding more miles to your training.
6. Do some trail running. Running on trails breaks the monotony of running on roads and makes your lower body stronger because it has to adapt to uneven terrain. It forces you to develop more coordination and agility.
7. Get out of your comfort zone. You will only get faster if you push yourself outside of your comfort zone. I will admit, running fast and pushing yourself can hurt sometimes. I am hurting now. But the fatigue and burning pain from running fast isn’t dangerous. Remember, you can always give more than you think.
Just do it.
So, I am now in NC! But I had my last GOTR practice on Monday, April 28th. The girls threw me a little party! They are the sweetest! Two of the girls had made homemade chocolate chip cookies. We had string cheese and graham crackers. They made me a HUGE “We’ll miss you!” card. And they gave me tons of hugs and asked if I could call them during practice some time. I think I will call them before their big race. 🙂 They are the sweetest. I’m really going to miss them! I am going to look into coaching in NC in the fall.
After GOTR I was planning on going to the gym to run on a treadmill (it was cold, rainy and windy in Madison). A mile into my run Anthony asked when I was going to be home because he had a surprise for me. Well, Allison and Michael had planned a surprise party for me with my flyball team! I have never had a surprise party before! It was sooo thoughtful, and it was absolutely wonderful to be able to say goodbye to everyone. I had a great time! And the girls got plenty of lovin’! I am going to miss all my friends in Madison!
Michael took a group photo, but he hasn’t sent it to me yet.
Then on Tuesday, Kim and I did brunch at Basset Street Brunch Club. If you haven’t been and you live in Madison, you must go. DELISH. And brunch is kind of our thing. So it was nice to be able to do it before I left.
So, it was a busy ending but definitely worth it!
Quote of the Day:
“It is not God’s will merely that we should be happy, but that we should make ourselves happy.” -Immanuel Kant
Recipe time! O.M.G. I made this frosting for Trish’s cake back in OCTOBER when the girls and I traveled to Indianapolis for CanAm. I know, I know. October was months and months ago. I have just kept forgetting to post it! It was yummy chocolate frosting. I hope Trish would agree!
– 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter
– 1 1/3 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
– 1 cup natural unsweetened cocoa powder
– 1 cup heavy whipping cream
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar, cocoa, and ½ tsp (scant) salt.
– Gradually stir in cream. Stir until mixture is very hot and just begins to simmer at edges.
– Reduce heat to low; stir 1 minute to let flavors blend.
– Transfer to medium bowl; stir in vanilla (frosting will resemble chocolate sauce).
– Chill until just thickened, stirring occasionally, about 1 ½ hours. Let stand at room temperature before frosting.