Is your running feeling stagnant? Spirited runner and inspirational Instagrammer @trackclubbabe shares her 5 tips for powering up your running workouts.
Editor’s note: This is a part of a weekly series featuring training, running and motivational tips from marathoner @trackclubbabe. Tune in every Tuesday for her newest tip.
I went through two years (2015-16) of tough marathons before I decided that things had to change to get different results. Here’s what I focused on to go from marathons times of 3:47/3:39/3:38 to 3:11:
⚡️I Stopped Doing the Same Old Thing
I was so used to doing just a 5 mile tempo weekly. You can’t do the exact same thing every week and expect big results. When I started alternating between shorter intervals and longer ones, I started progressing a lot faster. The short fast stuff makes the longer stuff feel more relaxed and effortless.
⚡️I Took Hard Workouts Off the Treadmill
Treadmills have their place, but I believe for hard effort it’s so important to not shortchange yourself. You need to KNOW you can propel yourself to those paces. I know now that I can self-regulate pace. And I know that when I’m tired and fatiguing, I can find the pace I need to again because I’ve practiced at it.
⚡️I Called on My Mind to be an Active Participant in My Workouts
If you’re not using the power of your mind to be your encouraging coach in a workout, you’re missing out. I don’t just let my body do whatever it feels like doing, I encourage and push myself mentally when the going gets tough. I don’t give myself easy “outs.” I remember hearing one of my favorite elites saying he doesn’t have a coach because in a race there is no one to push you but yourself. Learn to tap into that mental sharpness and push. Use your mind as your ally.
⚡️I Willed Myself to Do Workouts That Were My Weak Spots
Before, I used to shy away from workouts that I didn’t like – like super long tempo runs. But when the marathon comes around, you’re not fooling anyone if you’ve just played to your strengths in training. Those long, tough workouts breed the strength and endurance that you just can’t get from the shorter stuff.
⚡️I Checked in on My Form During Workouts
Fatiguing usually means your form got lazy and less efficient. This can slow you down and it’s NOT helpful. I make a habit of actively checking in on my form throughout my workouts. Doing this helps better my form and rally my pace. I’ll remind myself to relax, throw my shoulders back, take small steps, keep my arms loose and forward lean.
Author Bio: @trackclubbabe, AKA Kimberly Clark Underwood, started running in 2012 to see if she could train for a marathon & fell in love with running. She went from hoping to run 10 minute miles in the marathon to aiming for a sub 3 marathon. She posts the highs & lows of training + everything that has helped her to improve on her IG.