Thursday, October 5, 2017

Focus On The Negative Split In Training And Racing

Raise your hand if you regularly negative split a race? If you're reading this and you aren't sure what the definition of a negative split is: 

Negative Split: Running the first half of a race or workout slower than the second half.

I'm hard pressed to remember the last time I negative split a race. That is a huge yet truthful (and painful) confession... I totally go into a race with a clear plan of execution and for a marathon, I always follow my coach's plan/advice/instructions very closely. Yet, something always happens that I end up slowing down the second half of the race. Heat, hills, just plain tired - you name it, I have a reason for positive splitting a race. I will say that the last two consecutive Boston Marathons that I raced, I did run the first half exactly where I was supposed to be - but in both cases, the extreme weather was a big factor in slowing down the second half of the race. This training cycle, I am aiming to fine tune all the things that I know about running and make the execution better, sharper, finely tuned. The biggest obstacle is starting a race slower than I know I am capable and then turning it on the second half of the race. I have dreams about it, I think about it during a workout, I am practicing it and I want to challenge you to do the same thing (practice it - you don't have to dream about it ;0)
It doesn't matter how advanced you are in your running, a negative split will make the race experience more enjoyable and there is a much better chance of achieveing a PR.

Tired face, but I negative split the workout!

Three Ways To Practice The Negative Split In Training And Racing

1. Trust The Training
Whether you are self coached or under the tutelage of a coach, you have to truly trust the training. Know that you have put in the hard work, tapered well and your body is ready to handle to challenge of racing. Trusting your training also means that you can start the race a bit slower and know that you will have the strength to pick up the speed in the second half of the race and then put down the hammer in the final miles.

2. Practice 
If you want to get better at something, you have to practice. The best advice is to muddle your way through it during your training runs. So many times I do this on easy run - it's so easy to do after a hard workout. Your body is tired and recovering, so you start out easy and then the body gets warmed up and by the end of the recovery run, you are going a little bit faster at the end (but not too much, because we are running the easy runs EASY.)
This applies in a workout as well. For instance, if the workout in an interval workout, start the reps on the easier side and then build from there.

3. Hold Yourself Back
Many times in a race, we are excited, well rested and ready to go. The runners around you are excited and when the gun goes off, you want to stay or follow that pack of runners on your level - even if they are starting faster than your plan. Don't do it!! I repeat from experience, Do. Not. Fall. For. It.
I guarantee, if you stick to the race plan, at some point you will reel them in and while you are cruising by ready to take on the last part of the race, they will have their tongue hanging out. I've been on both sides and you definitely want to be on the cruising side.

Have you mastered the art of the negative split?

Share your secrets and what goes through your mind during the beginning of a race?

Do awesome things.


Monday, October 2, 2017

9 Weeks Till CIM + Live Life With Purpose

We are now into the single digit number of weeks until CIM. I have never raced a December marathon and it makes the urgency of the holidays so real. Christmas cards to think about, early shopping... I feel like I won't have a ton of energy or desire after the marathon, so the goal is to get a huge jump on holidays tasks this month. It was a good week of training, and I feel really ready for a break today. I will be full on enjoying a rest day from running and I couldn't be happier about it!
Let's take a look at last week's workouts:

Monday September 25th - REST DAY. Gosh I needed this rest day so much after 18 miles on Sunday and I relished in the fact that I could focus completely on recovery.

Tuesday September 26th - 7 easy miles

Wednesday September 27th - 10.29 miles.
Two mile warm up, 12 x 400 meter hill repeats (with 400 jog in between), two mile cool down. 
You can read all about it HERE and HERE.

Thursday September 28th - 7 easy miles

Friday September 29th - 10 miles with 8 x:30 second pick ups (all pick ups at 5:50/5:55 pace)
Progress. I'm now at a point where during these pick ups, I'm at under six minute pace on a consistent basis. Really happy with this workout.

Saturday September 30th - 7 easy miles at 8:22 pace.
My body was feeling less sore today - Wednesday's hill workout made me super sore for a few days. 
A good run today, so much so that I had to make myself slow down. EASY does it on these runs - nothing to prove here and can only hurt yourself if you don't dial it back.

Sunday October 1st - 15 miles. First 10 at 7:40 pace, last 5 at 7:00 flat pace.
This run had to be done on the treadmill today as it was the only time I had and it was an early evening run + I don't run in the dark. Long and emotional day today honoring a friend's life. Jerold and I had to leave super early in the morning to make it to the service and honestly, I didn't have the mindset to do this workout beforehand. Heck, it was hard to do the run in the evening - but goals... so I tried not to over think it and just jumped on the treadmill (after dynamic warm up of course :)
Happy that I could dial it down to 7:00 minute pace after ten miles of my normal long run pace. Running on tired legs is so beneficial in this training process. Needless to say, I was thrilled to be finished and I won't be running again until Tuesday! 

Total Miles: 56.29

Spending quality time with old friends was so wonderful. I love that we were all first connected through running, even though it has gone so beyond that over the many years. Although it was a sad time to come back together, we had some joyful moments reminiscing about time together as a team, old friends and the fact that our team and league produced some of the very best runners in the country. Pretty cool stuff.

I walked away with a renewed sense of purpose and wanting to make the most of every day. Am I living my life with purpose? Am I being as kind and loving as I can be? How can I help others more?

Waking up to the Las Vegas news made it that much more real.

It's a wake up call for all of us to live with zeal and adventure - joy and confidence. Let us all live our best life, even though that may seem hard somedays. May we all be reminded of the precious gift of life that we are given.

Thankful to always have him by my side.

Have a wonderful start to your week!

How was your week of workouts?

Anyone training for a Fall race?

Do you keep in touch with High School friends?

Do awesome things.