When You Want to Train for a Race…

Happy Belated Independence Day!!  I finally have time to sit down and write for a little bit!  BOTH kids are napping!  I’m sure I will pay for this later or something…

sleeping kiddos

I have a few friends who are planning on running in Philly with me- either the 8k or half marathon!!  I thought maybe I could offer some non-expert tips on training for a race for them and for anyone who wants to train for a race!

As far as my own training goes- Wednesday’s run was a five miler.  I took Thursday off and ran the Firecracker 4 miler (changed this year due to construction) yesterday here in Fairport.  It was SUCH a nice day for a run and I finished in 28:32!  My goal was 28 minutes, so I stayed pretty much on target.  I pushed myself hard on this hilly run, and I’m happy with that finish.  I finished fourth in my age group of 60!  I’ll take that:)

Today my plan called for a 45 minute Fartlek that I did not do.  Yesterday was a busy day- we didn’t get home until 11pm after the fireworks.  I wanted to sleep in this morning and spend it with my babies.  Plus I love getting them involved in my training as much as I can.  So after breakfast, we packed up and went for a very leisurely run around town to different destinations.

Brian “fixed” a problem on my double jogger, so now it’s actually worse than before and pulls to the right.  It was terrible- pushing with my right arm and pulling with my left to keep the damn thing straight, I’m pretty sure my right arm looks like the Hulk now.  Thanks, Babe!  I hope you find this sexy…

Anyyyways, we ran down to Perinton Park where Braxton played on the playground for a while and Char slept.  Then we ran back into town.  We have a tradition of going to the library and then the Red Bird Market.  Braxton, as always, got himself new books, some dry fruit crisps, and a juice.  I got an iced coffee and a chocolate marshmallow!!  Then we ran the canal home.  Such a good morning with two of my loves- babies and running.

So onto some tips if you want to train for your first race- whatever distance and whether you have kids or not, I think these all are applicable. I’M even still coming to terms with a lot of them.

1. There are going to be days when you don’t want to.

Run for the fun of it! If you're struggling to keep going, try to forget your goals and enjoy the process- Running is Fun!

Sure, there are times when you should still run when you kinda don’t want to, and you’ll  be SO glad you did (because when your mind says no, so will your body).  But sometimes you just plain don’t feel like doing what the plan says.  Like me today.  You’re not going to like something when you’re forced to do it, so don’t make it a stressor for you.  I don’t mean you can skip a 20 mile run if you’re training for a marathon, but every now and then, skip the plan and run for fun- however that fun is for you.  This also goes for unplanned things that happen in life that force you to skip or change a run.  A few deviations from your plan are not going to sabotage your race.

2.  There are going to be days when it sucks.

There will be days when you go out for your planned run, and it will go bad.  Maybe lots of them.  Running is hard.  That’s why is makes you so strong, and why everyone doesn’t do it.  But don’t let these days discourage you.  Even the best runners have bad days.  I used to get so upset when it went bad.  Ok, I still do.  But these things happen because we are human people and nothing is perfect.  A few bad days will not affect your goal, I promise.  They’ll make you LOVE the good days that much more.

3. Don’t go out too fast.

I know everyone doesn’t have a love affair with running. Sometimes it’s just a way to get in shape, and I understand that.  But that doesn’t mean you should run really fast just to get it over with.  You will have a really hard time finishing your run.  There are times you should push yourself, sure, but you have to run at your pace.  That might not be as fast as you want, but who cares.  I think the main goal for your first race is to finish it.  Go at a pace that you are comfortable with to get you as far as you need to go.

4. Don’t go too far too fast.

Don’t look at your plan and say, I can run more than this today.  You probably can, but too many miles too fast leads to injury.  I had a stress fracture from my first marathon training to prove it.  These plans are calculated for a reason. And if you think the plan is too easy for you, find a more advanced one and stick with it.

5. Listen to your body.

If you feel like you want to walk, walk.  Don’t feel bad about it.  Again, I’m not saying don’t push yourself, but you’re going to like running a whole lot better if you don’t feel like you’re going to die the entire time.  Take breaks if you have to.  Drink when you’re thirsty.  Take it easy if something hurts.  Our bodies are smart and they give us signs.  We just can’t be too stubborn or oblivious to listen to them.

6. People are not watching and judging and critiquing you.

How Phoebe runs.

This was a HUGE one for me when I started running alone.  I was super self-conscious and ran on the treadmill at home for a long time.  Let me tell you this:  If they even see you, NO one is thinking anything bad.  Anyone you pass by is one of these things:
– They are another runner and they are jealous, in a nice way, they are not out there running.  I do this every time I see someone running.
– They are not a runner and they are thinking how awesome you are that you are out there.
-They want to be a runner and you just inspired them to get out there and run.
– They literally are not looking at you at all and could care less.

7. Set Realistic Goals. 


Setting goals is super motivational and I’m a big fan of having them. But be realistic about it.  I would never have set Boston as my goal in my first marathon because I was nowhere near that.  Look at how you’ve been running, and set yourself a challenging, but attainable goal.  Celebrate the crap out it if you make it, but don’t be super bummed if you don’t.  There’s always next time.  It just keeps you coming back!

8. There are factors that you cannot change.


Like weather and the race course.  No matter what your goal is, be aware that can change in a minute.  If Philly ends up for some reason being a hot day rather than the cold one I’m planning on- I will put Boston of the plan.  It happens.

9. Don’t take it too seriously.






Running is so rewarding in many ways.  It’s a natural thing!  As long as you have a pair of shoes and some clothes- or not, you can run barefoot and naked if you want, I don’t judge- you can run.  One mile or 50 miles.  Above anything else, have fun, and you’ll enjoy yourself a lot more.

10. You will finish your race.

mud run finish

It might not go like you planned.  You could have a bad day, yes.  You might have to walk more than you wanted, or run slower than you planned.  But you could also have the best day ever.  Whatever the outcome- you 99% of the time will cross the finish line- and that in itself is the best accomplishment ever.

Well there you go, in a nutshell, things from experience I had to, and still have to, get over in my own running head.  I know I’ll probably post this and come up with some more non-expert advice to share, but this is a good start.  I absolutely love helping people if not love, then at least tolerate, running enough to try it. 

Set yourself a goal today and go for it!  I promise, you will be happy you did…at least when it’s over:)

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The people who keep me going and going and going.  Happy Fourth!!  I hope you and your families/friends all had the best weekend<3

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