How to run better
What a waste of time to worry about how you are going to perform.
You spend countless hours putting in miles, workouts and long runs. Why do this to yourself. Let go of the worry and grab hold of what you can control.
Listen, the person who says you must run 140 mile weeks to run a good marathon is off their rocker.
I believed the hype for a few years and I can report back with all certainty, you can perform far better on less.
A 140 mile week may work for a top athlete but how does that help the beginner or someone at a lower fitness level?
I ran my best marathons on 90 miles a week and some of my worst fitting workouts within 110-140 miles weeks.
Error on the side of doing less than too much.
The old adage quality over quantity is true. I learned this from Lisa Rainsberger.
The absolute worst thing you can do to retail all of your hard work and effort is dissing the aid station tables.
Oh yes, I did just say diss. You know how to run better when you work on all areas of your preparation.
You have to drink in the race, especially races lasting over 40 minutes such as the half-marathon and marathon distances.
I say this because my scrawny rear end has went over the deep end and back not drinking properly in marathons and payed for it dearly.
I have had it with scratching my head after a marathon wondering.
Gee, I am running with and outrunning kenyans in training but why on earth am I not holding it up in the 26.2 miler?
Hmm…get my point?
I don't want you to deal with this.
Take in enough calories
Take a couple cups at every aid station. 10-16 ounces of fluid is not enough for your body during a marathon.
Afraid of getting a cramp?
The majority of the time we worry about things that won't even happen in the first place.
Listen To Your Coach
I have been stubborn in the past thinking I had to be a high mileage runner to create waves in the marathon.
The best marathoners in the world are running 150 miles a week.
I have to do that too.
Nonsense, and I should have took the advice of two of the biggest influencers in my career thus far.
Jack Hazen (my collegiate coach who was just named the 2012 London Olympic Mens and Womens Head Distance Coach) and Lisa Rainsberger (my professional coach for 3 years and last American female to win the Boston Marathon), both graciously taught me the importance of realizing that it isn't the quantity of the work but the quality of the output.
A great coach will take the time to listen to your concerns but an even better one will step back and let you learn until you listen.
Nate, I have always believed that fast times require fast training, it should never be quantity focused -friend and mentor, GEN David Petreaus
Don't Be In Such A Rush
If you have a targeted race in 4 months.
Don't be overly ambitious the first 3 weeks and trust me, I am all for being ambitious, but through my mistakes in the past I have learned to pump the breaks and conserve some fuel for when turning and burning truly counts.
You have to be overly patient in this sport and if you want to do anything truly big you have to accept that goals are not always met on our watch.
It may take a season or another year to reach that goal you have been seeking.
The kenyans have taught me that you have to always keep looking ahead, never give in to letting your dream go.
You have to work hard but pushing and rushing the process will not get the results any quicker, especially if your over stressing your system with worry and doubt.
It isn't worth your time.
Take A Day Off
Runners are usually concerned that they are not doing enough. A day off usually is what you need when you are over thinking similar thoughts.
You can't fool me and I would be lying to you if I got caught up in this in the past too but to get better at anything you have to accept your faults, admit them and drive on.
Results come when the body is recovered from the stress you put on it from all those countless miles and workouts.
Do not get caught up in mileage and running 7 days a week.
It may work for me or someone else but what if you could accomplish even more with 5 or 6 days a week.
It takes more guts to back off than to outlaw the scientific fact that there is a such thing as mental and physical burn out.
Leo Babauta said it best,
There is something about my mind, and many people's mind that is overly optimistic. We think we can do so much each day, and so we overplan. We fill our plans with so much, confident we can do it all, ignoring the evidence of the past when most plans didn’t get done and most things didn’t get crossed off as hoped.
Relax, let your fitness come to you and reward yourself from time to time with a much deserved break.
Trust me, your body will thank you for it when it counts.