Training the Mind

>> Tuesday, April 2, 2013

First, let's recap last week in running.

M: 3 easy mile recovery from the steady 12-miler
T: 800 m swim + squats (4 sets w/ 12 reps), kettlebell swings/etc.
W: Yoga
R: 3 x 1600s (7:46, 7:42, 7:40) + 3 miles warmup/rest/cooldown = 6 total 
S: 5 miles at 7:42 average = 38:20
S: 10 mile long run at 8:30/mile = 1:25:00

I've had this huge awakening with my training. It all started by DOING the speed workouts and pace workouts and tempo works prescribed in my plan. I always did these workouts in the past by perceived effort. And it worked well for me. It can for you, too, especially if you're a beginner or don't want to be strapping a watch on your arm for every workout.

In my head, running under 8-minute miles in a workout always seems crazy hard. In the past, it would intimidate me for days and psyche me out in the end. So, I'd just keep doing my thing. Running what felt harder to me than an easy run and hoping for the best. I've PRed using this method, but I feel in the past year, I've been a bit stagnant.

I'd love to break 1:45 in this upcoming half marathon. And, in consultation with Stephen, I've realized this goal will entail some specific pace training. I've been borrowing his watch on runs and -- get this -- actually REALLY sticking to the workouts. I've had some major successes with my times + confidence, mostly due to:

1.) Believing I can do it. 

 Running is so much more a mental sport that we think. By "knowing" in my mind that I can achieve these paces, I have been able to get faster. Keeping in mind that I'm not reaching outside my ability based on race times (for those of you wondering how I'm determining the "right" pace, I'm using a pace calculator I wrote about a while back -- when my goals were a bit ambitious, I might add).

2.) Running just 4x/week.

A reduction in the number of running days has had a huge impact on my training. I feel much more fresh at the start of a workout. I look forward to running workouts versus dread slogging along to log more miles. Just another reason cross-training rules. And at the level I'm "competing" at, 4x a week is enough to see results. Or so we'll see.

But this week is mostly about walking. All day long. So, I'll get back to it.

How do you train your mind?

Have any stories to tell about running faster by b.e.l.i.e.v.i.n.g you can do so?

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