How I plan to win at running…

So let’s be honest here…Running is hard.  And I’ve been making it a lot harder on myself because I’ve been neglecting a few keys areas.

How I feel during a hard, hot long run

#1 – My run nutrition sucks.  I feel sick on most long runs and that’s because I have yet (after 8 marathons and 28 or so half marathons) to dial in my nutrition.  I think I always revert back to my track days when I didn’t eat much because I was so afraid to throw up after a race (TMI – I have a huge aversion to throwing up and I would rather not eat than get sick – I’ve been like this since I was a kid).

#2 – My mental strength, not so good.  I try, but then when it gets hard, I have a really hard time powering through so normally my brain works against my body.

#3 – I just run and while this is fine and dandy, I’m not going to get a PR if I don’t do speedwork & have a bit more focus as far as my training goes.

So what I am I going to do about this?

#1 – I’ve decided to run more shorter distance races for a few months after the LA Marathon on Feb 14.  I’m going to focus on the half marathon and will get a new PR.  I’ve run 28 or so halfs and I’ve only run under 2 hours twice.  My current PR is 1:57:26 and I’m going to work towards a 1:55.  Which considering where I’m at right now is going to definitely take some work to hit those 8:46 miles.  I’ve got the San Diego Half in mid March which I plan to use as a goal race.

I will train to PR in the marathon.  Sean & I just signed up for the Vancouver USA Marathon on June 19.  It’s a flat & fast course and perfect for a PR.  And it’s not until June so it gives me plenty of time to train and really work towards a PR.

#2 – Start believing in myself more.  I have it in me, but I let my mind defeat me every time.  I am getting a new Momentum Jewelry Motivate Wrap with my mantra – I Can & I Will.  And I’m going to get a few books to read on how to work on this.

#3 – Focus on my run nutrition.  I’ve been saying this for a while, but it’s obviously a huge problem for me and something I really need to dial in. I shouldn’t feel sick on every run.  And since eating seems to be an issue for me, outside of oranges and jolly ranchers I rarely eat anything on a long run.  I don’t like Gu, I prefer more natural or real food type products but even though I take them with me, I rarely eat them.

I will be trying the CarboPro Hydra C5  as well as TailWind.  Each of these products has 100 calories per serving so hopefully if I like the flavor, I’ll be able to drink my calories and stop feeling sick every long run.  Sean also tried this awesome tasting Core Proven Nutrition drink mix at Tahoe 200 last year and it can be mixed with either of these other products which might be an option.

I love running and I want to keep doing it, injury free of course, for a very long time but I would like to feel like I’m accomplishing something.  I’m hoping that focusing on these three areas will help me to succeed in achieving my goals this year.

Do you have a favorite way to get in your speed training?

I’d love to hear what you do to get past the mental aspect of running.

And what are your favorite ways to fuel on a long run?

5 thoughts on “How I plan to win at running…”

  1. I love this! I think many runners face these problems. For my mental strength, I started going to yoga (helps with physical strength too!). Yoga really clears my mind and helps me focus & stay positive. I too have decided to stick to shorter distances this year, but I am focusing on 5 & 10ks. I will do a few halves and of course I’ll run CIM, as I do every year. Good. Hooked your making. I think they will help you a lot! It’s all about finding a balance.

  2. Nutrition is always the hardest thing for me…. I have found that things change every year as to what my stomach can handle…. Some people have had good luck with trailbutter if you can handle the fat content in it while running…. I have found tailwind and Carbopro to work well for me…. How come you can’t do gels? Is it the texture? I have experimenting with watering down the gels…. The texture can be as thick or thin as you want…. I just get one of hammer gel flasks which hold 5 servings of gel… I would then put 2-3 gels in and fill the rest with water…. I use the chocolate flavor and so it’s almost like chocolate milk! As far as the speed work….. I have been working hard on getting myself aerobically faster with the phil maffetone method…. 180 minus your age +- 5bpm to give yourself your aerobic fat burning zone. It’s very interesting And I want to see if it works for me. The idea is that run at this heart rate and only this heart rate until you stop seeing an increase in pace at that given heart rate…. Then your ready to add some speedwork. It has definitely been hard for me to slow down originally but hoping for a huge increase in that aerobic zone.

  3. Mental strength has also been something that I’ve focused on recently! There are some great books out there on improving it. I’ve heard Mind Gym is supposed to be really good! As far as nutrition, Huma gels are the only thing I can comfortably stomach. The ingredients are much better than most gels, too!

    1. Thanks for the info Sami! Yes Mind Gym is on my list. I’m pretty sure I saw it on NYCRunningmama’s post a few weeks back as something she used. I’ve not heard of Huma so I’ll check them out! Thanks!!

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