Monday, July 1, 2013

How I Got Fast(er) and How You Can Too!

First off, fast is relative.  Am I running 17 min 5ks?  No.  But 22:55 is MUCH faster than where I started.  I kept chipping away at the time by committing to it.

Here's how I did it (and you can to):

1.  Changed What I Ate and How I Viewed Food.
I changed my whole relationship with food.  I changed to food no longer being a reward for a good run, but my fuel.  In my slower days, after every long run?  Papa John's with butter sauce and Coke Zero.  I earned it or I deserve it, I'd tell myself.  I began to focus on what could make me a better runner and my view on what I ate wasn't to get "skinnier", my goal was to get faster. That allowed for a honed in focus.  I became engulfed in nutrition, soaking in and researching all I could.  I cut out processed foods slowly and added in lots of veggies (green smoothies became my friend) and during that time also gave up meat as well.  The result?  A drop in body fat (I'm at 14% now) and my race times kept dropping.  Less body fat to carry around made me a much more efficient athlete.  I viewed food as fuel and if I wanted to be a high performance machine, I had to feed it properly. 

2.  Adding in Cross Training
I added in cross training to my regime.  Spin classes helped me work my VO2 max and allowed me to work on increased leg turn over in a low impact way.  Boot camps helped me work on pylometrics, strength and explosive push off power through jumps, burpees, etc.

3.  Started Weight Training
Adding in weights helped me to become stronger all around (and also helped dropped that body fat!). Stronger legs meant when heading up hills was no longer as hard...I was powerful.

4.  Speed Work!
Speed work helped me work on my VO2 max and leg turn over, which helped in racing.  To run faster, I had to practice actually running faster...sounds simple right?

5.  Race Often
Completing lots of races gave me a chance to run faster than I would in training which progressed my fitness level and speed.  It also allowed me to see my progress speed wise every few weeks.  It gave me immediate goals to work towards.  I decided to compete in a race series called the Second Empire Grand Prix.  (I ended up taking first in my age division for the series standings).  Telling myself I don't feel like running today, but my desire to PR at the next race is stronger than my desire to sit on the couch.  My desire to PR was stronger than my desire to eat a cake pop at Starbucks.

Well there it is.  My top 5 tips for getting faster.  I did it and you can too!  Do work, Stay motivated, Get faster! 


Also please vote daily through Aug 18th to get me a spot on the cover of Runners Workd Magazine!  It would be a dream come true!  
http://covercontest.runnersworld.com/entry/331/

12 comments:

  1. All great tips!! I'm working on adding in strength training and being careful about what I eat too. I think diet is the hardest part for me.

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  2. Great article and great reminders! THANK YOU for sharing!

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  3. Thanks for posting this, it made me excited to start training for fall races.

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  4. I just registered for my first half this November, and this post was just the thing that I needed to see! Thanks so much for the great words.

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  5. These are awesome tips! I've been trying for ages to get a sub 30 5k. One thing I know I need to do is speedwork! Thanks!

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  6. Great advice. I think we are all trying to get faster, at least, faster for us!

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  7. Just saw this post! Thanks for the tips! I am attemptinig a big goal in 2014 - to shave off 17 minutes off my marathon time. I need all the help I can get! Thanks again!

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  8. Great post! I'm a slow runner and also trying to get fast(er) so I appreciate the tips :)

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  9. All great tips...I really need to work on my diet...I know that would be the major boost that I need!

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  10. This is a great article, Thanks for giving me this information. Keep posting.
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  11. Great post and great tips! I have noticed I'm getting faster with a lot of the things you mentioned as well. It feels good seeing progress as a result of making conscious changes! Keep up the great work!!

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  12. The content is great, and you’re an educated writer unlike most of the blogs.thanks for the post.


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