Hi, friends! Happy Friday!
Today I’m linking up with Cynthia, Courtney, and Mar for the Friday Five — and today’s topic is “free Friday.”
Every so often I’ll ask my athletes what areas they would like to improve upon, or if they have any change in goals. There’s no better time to ask myself these same questions as the present. As such, I thought it would be a good time to revisit five of my goals.
5 Areas of Running I’d Like to Improve Upon
1. Achieving even splits.
In distance running, maintaining even splits is optimal. Sure, the elites and medal winners are on fire with their negative splits. But for the average Joe Runner, even splits are the goal. I’ve been pretty good with even splits over the last year or so of training, but before that I was too focused on negative splits (and much shorter distances) and often fell short of my goals. The last couple weeks I’ve improved greatly when it comes to even splits without even trying. I’m very pleased with my own progress in the even splits department.
During marathon training last spring, I was on point with nutrition and hydration. After I completed my marathon, I’ve been much less focused on what I put into my body. Call it fatigue, call it laziness — it’s not great. I’ve developed some less-than-ideal eating habits that I need to curb sooner rather than later. Now that’s not to say I eat garbage, because I don’t. I still eat a very whole food, nutrient dense diet and a huge focus on fruits and vegetables. But now I sneak a pie into the house every other week or so, whereas before if I had a hankering for sweets, I would have a handful of chocolate chips instead.
|Stay hydrated! Water is our friend!|
Again, throughout my marathon training I was very focused on hydration. I always, and I mean always, had a bottle of water with me. Nowadays, I’ll go hours without drinking water, only to chug 24 ounces in 30 seconds. It’s not the recommended way to do things, folks. I need to focus more on my fluid intake. There’s nothing worse than suffering runner’s colitis from dehydration. Trust me.
|Just one of many rolling hills.|
4. Maintaining pace for steady state and tempo runs.
Steady state and tempo runs. These runs are really important to achieving PR goals. Unfortunately the routes I now run are very hilly and are almost impossible to maintain a pace for either steady state or tempo running. Jack Daniels himself notes “hills, rough footing and wind all play havoc with the ability to maintain a steady pace, and interfere with achieving the purpose of the workout.” So what’s a runner to do? Well, I could drive to flatter land for these runs. But since I have to wake up so darn early to run before my son goes to school, that seems unlikely until next summer. My next option would be to use the treadmill. But that just ain’t gonna happen until there’s snow on the ground and the roads are impassable. So what I’ll do for now is to work on what I can with what I have, with the help of my coach’s guidance.
|It’s not the overall gain that’s an issue because it’s almost nonexistent. It’s the constantly rolling hills…|
5. Setting a PR for my next half marathon.
My PR is from my very first half marathon in spring of 2014. It wasn’t super fast or anything, which is one of the reasons I’d really like to break it and set a new PR. I’m not convinced 2015 is my year, though. I’ve dealt with a few injuries, plus I feel like marathon training really slowed me down overall. If I can’t hit a PR in October, then I’ll know I need to work harder for a spring half marathon PR. It will be easier to focus on speed after a few months of downtime.
What are your TOP TWO goals or areas you’d like to improve in your fitness?
Have a great weekend. And for those of you celebrating Rosh Hashanah, L’Shana Tovah! Wishing you a sweet new year. 🙂