Running is such a tough sport! It is what I love the most about running! Running is just the best. The challenge each new week brings to push us to our limits and to prove time and time again that we are made to do hard things. It keeps us showing up. The confidence that comes from the small weekly successes on the way to achieving goals we never knew we could accomplish. With that we continue setting big goals, putting in the work & making it happen. Each day & week brings new workouts, training adaptations, changing seasons & weather conditions, weekly training factors with stress, sleep, nutrition, hydration, recovery & the list goes on and on!
Some days & weeks we feel like we are invincible & we completely crush our workouts! We also have the rough wake up calls when suddenly we feel like we’ve never ran fast in our lives. How did my workout go so well last week & this week I struggle to hit my paces for less than 1/2 a mile. You crash & burn or struggle to finish at a pace that leaves you disappointed & feeling like you just put in so much work for nothing. I get it. We all get it. It happens to all of us. If running was easy, everyone would do it. Of course, as much as we can prevent these rough, disheartening days from happening, the better.
Being a marathoner for 11+ years at a competitive level and an athlete my entire life, I want to share my advice on what helps me stay mentally & physically tough, consistent, keeping a positive mindset & as a result, setting myself up to best perform no matter what my workout that day brings.
Training Tip #1: Focus on one mile/interval at a time!
This is the best running advice I have received throughout the years of running and it not only helps me with every workout but has helped me race some of my best races! When you focus in on one mile or interval at a time, you are able to really tune into the pace, the workout, your body & to stay present at that moment. In running their are so many factors that affect a workout, so it you can stay mentally & physically all there, it takes so much stress and anxiety not only off of the pace but also the workout as a whole. Workouts can look overwhelming and feel overwhelming at the start, but if you can stay relaxed, focused on where you are at in the workout, reset between intervals or as you relax into the pace of the tempo run/race mile you are on & take on the next interval/mile, you will be
surprised at how smoothly the workout goes & what you are capable of by the end of the workout or race!
Training Tip #2: Visual Crushing the Workout!
Mindset & mentality going into a workout is everything! “Whether you think you can or think you can’t you are right”. I am sure many of you have heard this before! Before my harder workouts and especially during the warm up, I start to get nervous, but excited & pumped for the workout! I let my nerves build up a bit just like race day since workouts can be kind of scary and intimidating some days! I still get nervous before my workouts and put a lot of pressure on myself. I focus on the excitement and just being able to get out their and run fast! I always remind myself that it is going to be mentally & physically one of the hardest things I do all week! I also remind myself that this is where I am at on that current day & to just go out their, give it my best & have fun! What I have learned through the
years is no matter what, to NEVER take the fun out of running & a workout. Keep a positive mindset, give it your best, focus on one mile at a time, go out their & crush your workout.
Training Tip #3: Don’t Overthink It!
Right before a hard workout & race, there are so many thoughts that can suddenly flood your mind. Like am I really ready to do this? This workout seems way too hard.. how am I going to hit my paces? You can easily start to overthink something that is just so simple & two minutes earlier you were already set to go without a negative thought in mind. The best you can, try NOT to overthink it! Stay positive! You are more than ready to do the workout! You just finished a solid warm up, stretched, supplemented and/or hydrated, put in a few strides to set the pace & are ready to go! All you have to do is get out their & just do it! It usually just takes getting started and that first interval/mile to build up confidence to then remind yourself that you are capable of hard things. Running is hard but the more simplified you can make it the better. If needed give yourself a quick 10 second count down.. ready, set, GO!
Training Tip #4: Counting Your Steps!
This is always a classic piece of running advice but it has helped me so much through the years in race & workouts & especially this summer! During my workout, I will count my steps forward or backward from 100! I count to the beat of my stride and try to keep the count at a slower steady count as I get into the groove my my stride & really tune into the pace & my body! It helps from any negative thoughts going into my mind by not thinking about anything but my body & the workout in that moment & counting! Especially as the workout gets harder and the pace continues to set in, it helps to stay mentally tough & performing at my best. For your next workout or race, when your mind starts to wonder or any negative thoughts start to set in, try counting your steps & see if it helps you reset & focus in!
Training Tip #5: The Last 1/3 Of A Workout or Race!
This is the toughest part of a workout or race. It can make or break your results! It is the part of the race where you still have enough distance & race left to not be able to slow your pace but you still have a bit of time before you get to the finish line! Not matter what you do, DO NOT slow your pace!! This is the one time during the workout that you really have to remind yourself that you are made to do hard things & that you can do it! Everyone knows that I am talking about and can relate to this. Be prepared for it & this is when you have to keep showing up & dig deep. Many workouts, to best prepare myself for this part of the race or workout, is knowing the course or route. I will tell myself that once I get through this part of the workout or race, I can then push the pace one more time to finish fast, give it my all & leave it all on the course! Before that, I just tell myself to keep one
foot in front of the other & to keep running! Until my body proves me wrong, I know I can do it. I take a deep breathe, stay relaxed through my upper body & hold my pace the best I can. Whether it is going into the last interval, the last part of the mile with the finish in view or having the finish line in sight, knowing how much longer you actually have to go is so extremely helpful to stay mentally and physically at your strongest from start to finish, continue pushing your limits & crushing your workout or a new PR!
These are the weekly training tips & race tips that have helped me push my limits & to give it my best no matter what race day or my workout brings! I love crushing workouts and new PRs! I love the feeling of accomplishing hard things & new running goals that I set for myself. Being a coach, I love seeing other people crushing their workouts, personal goals, seeing results & setting new PRs! Running can be so hard & depending on the day or workout, some days are even harder. I want to help other people feel really good about their weekly training & see results. This advice is just based on my own experience & what has helped me the most. Along with advice I have received from others along the way! I hope this helps you with your weekly training & your next workout or race! Keep showing up to do hard things. You will never regret
what you achieve from putting in the work towards your goals & what you accomplish along the way. If you need help with your weekly training & your running goals, I would love to work with you! Please feel free to reach out to me personally via email Coach Meghan at
meghan@run4PRs.co or our website to work with any of our amazing Run4PRs coaches
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