Hello, thank you for joining me along my journey of becoming a Runner! I've always been an active guy, played sports in high school and continued into adult recreation sports after high school. As I started my family and found a career, the activity level slowly decreased. Well my Fiance had enough of our lazy ways and started on the Weight Watchers program and completely overhauled our daily meals. Step 2 was getting more active, so we decided to JOG our annual Juvenile Diabetes charity walk and actually enjoyed the activity. The month following the charity walk, we signed up for our first official 5K and had an absolute blast. From that point forward I have officially been BIT by the running bug and this is my journey to becoming a RUNNER!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Time To Put the Big Boy Pants On

It’s been a full week since my half marathon trail run.  I did little to none running wise last week, pretty much just taking some time off to rest up and plan the next couple months.  Although, I did jump on the bike a few times and that turned out to be really good for my legs.

With that being said, I’m still pissed off about my performance at the trail run.

I’m a very competitive person and I feel like my performance on that day could have been much better not to mention I have this fire inside me to train harder to start running side by side with the guys in the lead pack.  I see all the runners at our races, more so at the trail races, and I tell myself that I want to get to that level so I’m going out there and competing, not just running.  So after a week off, I’ve come up with some new areas of focus for my training moving forward.

1)      RWP (Run With a Purpose) – This is a catch phrase we use while coaching youth sports (practice with a purpose) so the kids understand they can’t just go out and goof around to get better.  You need to have a plan for each session and go out with the purpose of achieving that plan.  Of course things change and you have to be flexible, but the mindset from the beginning is to achieve a certain goal.  I need to take my training runs more seriously, not running all of them harder because I love my slow recovery runs, but just being more aware of what I’m trying to accomplish with each run.

2)      Race Pace – I need to focus more runs on race pace.  I’m capable of putting more effort into my runs and don’t really tap into that effort.  At one of our races last month, my goal was to maintain about 8 min miles for the 10K.  Well I came out around 7 min miles in the beginning keeping up with the lead runners.  The capability is there, if I can just tap into that on my training runs, I will be much stronger at our races.

3)      Strength Training – I need to hit the weights.  This is especially important if I want to keep running trail races.  I need to be stronger to run through the elements and really hammer away at the climbs.  Not to mention I have known for a long time that strength training helps with form and injury prevention.  Now it’s time to make this a priority in my training.

4)      Speed Training – I need to get back out on the track and start doing my speed intervals again.  I use to feel great after clicking off 4X400 meters with 200 meter recovery, but fell off because I thought that was a contributor to my ITB issues.  Honestly, speed training helps immensely, I saw drastic improvement in my 5K time when I was doing repeats on the track.  I would need to increase my number of intervals but this will help with any distance that I’m running.

These are just the main items I am going to add into my training plan.  I will continue with my trail/hill runs and my long runs, but I’m hoping that these will really help me become a stronger runner.

Any suggestions on other pieces I can add in to get me into the lead pack at my races??


  1. Hopefully the strength training will keep away any injuries while speed training!

    I obviously know nothing about being in the lead pack, but my coach is usually in the lead pack or the winner. I think a key to running at that level, from what I can gather, is running (moderately) high mileage and running on fatigued legs sometimes to simulate that end of race experience where you need to keep pushing.

    Check out the chart on mileage she posted here for miles run per week based on race distance if you're an elite runner vs. a normal runner:

    Looking forward to cheering for you extra hard when you're running with the Sage's of the ultrarunning world!

    1. Uhg I dislike strength training soooo much, but I need to do it.

      Wow I loved that post and all the stats she posted. I'm definitely going to reference back to that.

      Lol I think running with Sage is far off but it's nice to dream.

  2. Great post! Great things to keep in mind while training. While I am NOT a lead packer, here are a couple of things I would keep in mind...
    Speed work--ease into it. Being too aggressive too soon promotes injury.
    Make sure you have easy days too--This is when your body adapts to the demands.
    Set incremental goals.
    Good luck! We are with you on this journey!

    1. Ah I should of reached out to the coach for some tips.

      Speed work, good note. I love easy days so I won't be forgetting about those trust me lol.

  3. I am sorry you feel your performance was lack luster during your trail race. I honestly think you did really awesome. That was a big climb! Since I am old and slow I don't have much to offer, but I will say doing progression runs last winter made me very strong, but they caused lots of icing and soreness, I was working on 4 miles often. When I do intervals for about 30 minutes it was a lot less stress, but i think it still helped. I think the thing that helped my legs get stronger was pushing up that leg press machine, i am very limited with my leg work, I can't squat or lunge, but pushing that heavy weight up helps build the quads :) Happy running Richard ")

    1. It was a big climb, definitely put me in my place.

      Progression run, great suggestion. I wish I had access to a leg press, squats and lunges are rough on my back.

  4. I literally do none of these things haha. Maybe I do run with purpose, but really I just focus more on getting out there. The one thing I wish I did do was strength training, I just hate it so much. It would certainly help me a lot though!

    I read "Running with the Buffaloes" recently (I highly recommend it). It documents the CU cross country season under coach Mark Whetmore who is considered one of the greatest coaches in running. Anyways, something he always emphasized was not letting emotions take over. I know the feeling, you want so bad to just "get there", be as fast and strong as you can be as soon as possible. But the beauty of running is that things like that don't happen. You have to be methodical and patient. I guess my main advice is to not let your inner desires push you too hard when your brain knows better. I'm certain this is what I did a year ago and it really ruined things. Not that you shouldn't work hard, I'm just feeling a fiery vibe that could burn just a bit too hot.

    1. So your saying throw out all the nonsense and just run lol. I really hate strength training also, we are cut from the same cloth on that one.

      I'm going to check out that book. I am definitely going to have to keep that in mind. I think I have a good perspective of how long this takes but it's good to keep reminding myself.

  5. You have come such a long way in a short time! I think you are doing really well, of course! I reiterate a few comments above about being careful not to get the injury bug. Train smart! Listen to your body! I certainly know the feeling of wanting to do better and remember showing up at races thinking I was on top of my game (cycling) then seeing the other competitors and basically saying to myself , "oh shit". Lol! My key training advice for anything I've done? train your weaknesses, keep a journal. Good luck Richard! I think you are on the right track with your plan~ K

    1. I think I've made some good progress as well, but I'm selfish and want MORE lol.

      Holy cow that was the exact thought. I thought I was set for that race and then saw a few guys at the starting line and said "oh shit." Even reiterated when I actually saw them run.

      Train my weaknesses, great tip...means I need to do a lot more climbing.

  6. Smart move taking a break from running to let your body recover. I've always found that biking the week after a tough race helps my legs, too! It sounds like you've got a pretty solid plan in place and looks like you've already received a lot of great advice. My only addition would be to not do all of your 4 listed things at once. Make a plan to add them in one at a time until they all become routine.


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