Training for Race Season

Oh hey! It’s been a while. It’s not you, it’s me. I’ve been busy, and the long winter has me feeling unmotivated. I’m tired. Good thing I make more excuses about blogging than I do about working out!

1010706_10202108464698487_568135008458836320_nThis time of year, it seems everybody has a race of some sort that they’re training for. Like the 5k to Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer, which my entire family races in each spring, or the GW Parkway Classic that I am running in this month.

So, I wanted to share the training regimen that I have put in place to get myself into the best shape possible for my race on April 24. Let me preface this by saying that I am not a trained fitness coach, and if you follow my below plan, please please please always listen to your body, trainers and/or doctors for expert advice.

Running vs. Lifting + Stretching:

During the five or so weeks leading up to a 10 mile race, I will cut my lifting down significantly, and increase my mileage each week. Also, it can’t be said enough, but stretching can mean a world of difference. I try to use a foam roller to massage my IT bands every single day.

Lifting:

During the weeks that I am training for a race, I will reserve two days a week for lifting. 1 day for legs (never maxing out) and 1 day for arms/chest/back. Both days, and some of my non-lifting days, will include 5-15 minutes of core.

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 8.31.53 PMRunning:

The hard part for me is pacing. I am not a distance runner by nature. My body wants to run fast, but then I can’t maintain the speed while increasing my miles.

With that in mind, I have three little tricks that I employ to help me combat this common hurdle:

  • Mileage: I do 3 runs during the week that are between 3-5 miles, depending on where I am at in my training. Then I do one 5-8 mile run on the weekends. I do not pay too much attention to my pace, but I try to stay within a :30 margin. By race day, I am comfortably running more miles and a much quicker pace and it wasn’t even that painful to get there.
  • Track Workouts: I have recently gotten into track workouts, which are full of benefits. They open your stride, boost your endurance, change up your routine and drum roll….. they help increase your speed! I jog to the track, stretch and then do one of the following: Sprint 1 lap, jog 1 lap. Repeat 4-8 times. Or, run 80% pace for 2 laps, jog for 1 lap. Repeat 4-8 times. I also sometimes do pacers down the long side of the track. Start at 50% pace, increase to 75% pace, increase to full sprint. Do a few of those. They feel AMAZING.
  • Hills: They’re the devil. But the best advice I ever received was from Mr. Mahoney, my high school cross country coach. He told us that we should always work to pass people on the uphill. If you train for hills, there will be no issues come race day. You’ll be cruising on up as other runners are struggling and wondering if you’ve got secret jets hidden in your shoes! My standard hill workout: Jog to the hill, stretch. Then I do pacers up the hill, starting off with a slow and open stride leading up to the base of the hill and then try to run about 75% pace to the top.  I jog halfway down, and walk the other half. Once at the bottom,  jump right back into the next one. Depending on the hill grade and length, I will do 5-10 of these before jogging home.

If you’ve got a race coming up, I hope you find my training tips beneficial. Always feel free to reach out to me in the comments below if you’ve got any questions! Also, follow me on IG for training tips, fun pics and weird outfits. 🙂
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Run with Hart

That is my hand, overly excited and ready for a high 5 with Hart at the finish line.
That is my hand, overly excited and ready for a high 5 with Hart at the finish line.

You know who kicks ass? Kevin Hart. Not only is he absolutely hilarious, but he’s a workout enthusiast who preaches a healthy lifestyle to his fans. My kinda guy! The comedian-currently out on his “What Now” tour-teamed up with Nike’s Run Club to host 5K’s across the US and Canada. And today, Hart made a few hundred people in the DMV VERY VERY happy, and hopefully a little more healthy!

”What I saw today were people who have never ran come out, and have the will to finish, simply to become the best version of themselves,” said Hart. “For me, you guys don’t understand how refreshing that is. I honestly believe that being great is a mindset. People, don’t let today be the last day of your start. Continue this with or without me.”

He’s awesome, right?

Loving this free t-shirt. Thanks Nike & Kevin Hart!
Loving this free t-shirt. Thanks Nike & Kevin Hart!

Events like this are not only fun and full of awesome gifts and prizes, but they represent the strength and excitement of the fitness community. They’re happening everyday, in cities all across America. If you aren’t sure where to look for these events, check out local running shops and Nike stores. Here’s a list of upcoming running events in the DC area. In some cases, like today, registration is free. Some races may cost something, but the money is usually to benefit a non-profit. Go find yourself a race or a fun run, and get moving because today is as good a day as any to make your start.

One of the best parts of these races, free schwag!

  • Nuun – Paige has talked about Nuun before, but I finally got to taste it today. Mmm! The hydration tabs, which are enhanced with electrolytes, dissolve in water and taste amazing.
  • Kind Snacks – A friend in Colorado introduced me to Kind years ago and I’ve been a longtime fan of their products and their movement. It’s not everyday that you find a company who stands for something. But aside from their social responsibility awesomeness, Kind products also boast ingredient lists that you can actually read. They’re made from simply whole and raw ingredients like quinoa, chia seeds, various nuts, various dried fruits, salt, honey. So tasty.
  • Nike – See pic of free shirt above. I love it!

More pictures, because pictures are fun. You’ll start to see that I really love pictures.

The whole gang, minus Tricia. (Photo Credit: Nike)
The whole gang, minus Tricia. (Photo Credit: Nike)
James and Paige (Photo Credit: me, over my head, while running)
James and Paige (Photo Credit: me, over my head, while running)
This is how running makes me feel on good days. On bad days, not so much. (Photo Credit: Nike)
This is how running makes me feel on good days. On bad days, not so much. (Photo Credit: Nike)
Hi Kevin Hart! (Photo Credit: Me)
Hi Kevin Hart! (Photo Credit: Me)
Yes! Finally a picture of Paige, Molly and I. (Photo Credit: Ella Rash)
Yes! Finally a picture of Paige, Molly and I. (Photo Credit: Ella Rash)
Found Mickey in the crowd! Mickey and I ran high school track together. By that, I mean we found clever ways to skip practices. (Photo Credit: James Armold)
Found Mickey in the crowd! Mickey and I ran high school track together. By that, I mean we found clever ways to skip practices. (Photo Credit: James Armold)

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