I am enjoying the Christmas season so much. Yes, it has been a little (okay a lot!) crazy and hectic, but it has been so much fun enjoying this special time of year. Here are a few glimpses of what has been going on lately...
The kids enjoying "snow" made for all the children after our church Christmas program. This was a huge treat and I loved seeing the wonder in their eyes and the joy in their voices...
We have a pretty clever Elf, and this is where he landed last night!!
Elle had her school holiday party last Friday. The teachers read the story Stone Soup (a wonderful story about giving and sharing). After the story, the children made their own stone soup and then enjoyed a big feast!
Please stay 2 3/4 forever!! :)
I also got to attend Megan's Christmas party at school and it was fun to watch her hard at work...
And we went to visit our wonderful family friends for a night of Christmas cheer! My friend Kristin is one of my dearest friends and she is also a big runner. I love seeing her, because we can talk about running NON STOP and never get bored. Our boys wanted to jump in the photo (although I'm not sure how thrilled Josh is!)
6.5 miles for me yesterday and I discovered a beautiful new trail...
Let's talk about running fast. There are times (for me, today was that day) when we are on an easy paced run, getting in the miles and enjoying our run with zero pressure to run fast.
But what about those times when you have to run fast in a workout to improve? To get stronger?
What about those times during a race when you need to run faster, but your body doesn't seem to respond?
How do you overcome that obstacle?
5 tips to run faster during a hard workout or a race
Yep - it's 90% mental. You can totally talk yourself out of running faster ("I'm tired", "I don't know if I can do it" or "this is scary"). OR, you can think positively and give yourself a mental pep talk.
These are critical decisions during a goal race or an important workout.
The mind will achieve what the body believes! :)
2. Focus on your posture
I find this to be a big one for me. When I am getting tired, my posture starts to suffer a bit. I can feel myself leaning over and this directly affects my speed. The minute I straighten up, hold my shoulders slightly back and achieve good running form (including picking up my feet and slightly lengthening my stride) - I can FEEL the difference immediately. I have been experimenting with this and every single time, my mile times are faster when I work on good form.
3. Use your arms
When I really engage my arms, everything else comes together and I find that I can run faster.
In a race situation, even if you only run a little faster, every minute (and every second) makes a difference!
Remember - it doesn't matter if you are trying to hold your 11 minute per mile pace, or you want to keep running 6:50 pace, it's your goal and its important to you. Don't forget to use your arms to your advantage :)
4. Get out of your comfort zone
It's a race or a hard workout. It's not supposed to be an easy walk in the park!
If you feel like you aren't working hard enough, then you probably aren't. That said, remember to pace yourself. Don't go out too fast and then die at the end. Ideally, you should finish faster than you started. This is a big goal that I am working on in race situations.
5. Use your friends and crowd support
Try and enlist a speedy friend to run a hard workout with you. I always find that this makes me run faster than if I were on my own.
During races, I love feeding off of the crowds of people cheering and bands playing. Use this to your advantage and let the energy carry you through. During isolated parts of races, try to bear down and focus until you pass another big crowd of spectators. This is also a great time to think about running fast to see your family and friends if they are there cheering for you.
It all pays off in the end when you achieve the goal you worked so hard for.
What makes you run faster in a race or a hard workout?
How do you deal with feeling uncomfortable in a race? (There are so many times when I think how much I hurt or how hard it is! It's not easy, but I try to block it out and think about the end result - a great finish!)
Happiness Is Running Life!