Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Steph Says: Race Training

Ahhh, race training. A dedicated, set schedule that dictates when and how far one must run in order to achieve the desired results come race time.
Also known as: what I'm NOT doing right now.
Who am I? What is life?
South Louisiana goes on a bit of a race hiatus from late May to October because it is just too obnoxiously HUMID to get anything done outdoors. And I just hate the treadmill. HATE. I've tried, and I feel like a total spaz, plus I'm worrying the whole time about just how awful it will be when I trip and have to tuck and roll off the back of the belt. 
Did I mention I fell off a treadmill in 4th grade at fat camp?
Did I mention my day-long stint at fat camp?
In short, I fell off a treadmill on day one and completely skinned off (as in, no skin remained) my knees, so I couldn't return to camp because my skin had to basically regenerate itself and I couldn't exactly "perform exercises" in that state.

Good times.
Stop laughing.
It's not funny.
Stop it. 

I fell in love with outdoor running back in 2011, and no matter the weather, that's where I feel best. Which is why I get a little antsy when there's nothing to train for. The most important thing about training for me is the mental aspect. My body has proved to me time and time again that it can, and will, do whatever I tell it to do (except when it comes to the treadmill). My mind, however, is still the not-so-little little girl at fat camp who is scared. And has the knees of a burn victim.

So how does a former fat girl go from couch to marathon? This is what has worked for me.

1. Pick your race.
My next big race won't be until November. I may do some 5ks if they come up, but I'm gunning for the Cajun Cup 10k. It was my first "big race" and I will always love it! Once a race has been chosen, you gotta commit. 
2. Set your goal.
Last year I finished the Cup in 1:08. This year I want to do it in less than an hour. (Oh great, now I typed it here, so it's official.)
3. Pick your plan.
There are hundreds of training plans available online, plus dozens of apps. Google around and see what fancies you. Best advice? Look for something that will work with your life. If you can't find time for a 10 miler on a Wednesday, keep looking for a 5 Tuesday/5 Thursday kind of plan. Or go with the tried and true Couch to 5k app- I will sing that app's praises until the day I die!!! 
4. Stick to your plan as much as possible.
Guess what? Life happens. So you go with the Wednesday 10 miler plan, and you have to work late one week. Or your kid gets sick. Or someone dies. (My grandpa passed away one week before my first marathon- talk about throwing a wrench into my plan!) Things will happen and runs will not happen. Don't beat yourself up. Just do better next week. 
5. Don't slack on the training runs...especially the long ones. 
When you're out there on mile 14 of a 20 mile run, it's VERY tempting to turn it into a casual stroll. Don't. Push yourself. Take it seriously so that when you reach mile 14 of the race, your body doesn't think "Oh, alrighty now, time for a relaxing little jaunt around the park! Cheerio!"
Apparently my body talks like a British chimney sweep. Or I've watched Mary Poppins a lot lately. The kid likes what the kid likes, and these days it's a spoonful of sugar. 
Good luck getting that out of your head. 
6. Get ready for race day. 
You've put in the work, so in order to make race day a good experience, plan out your clothes/shoes/fuel/gear the day before. Lay it all out so you're not scrambling at 4:30 a.m. because there are few things worse than not being able to find your headphones and being in a rush just to make it to the start line. 
7. Enjoy the fruits of your labor!
Run the race, collect the bling, enjoy the post-race party, and stuff your face (and then get back on the wagon)!

This post was created as part of the #sweatpink @fitapproach SPA Blogger Pros program! Click here if you wanna know more about Fit Approach!

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