Friday, August 16, 2013

Fitness Friday...Finish Strong

Lately my long runs have been following the same pattern...start creaky, stiff, and spend the first 3 miles convincing myself that yes this is what I want to be doing.  Then by about mile 3 I feel like this...
I'm feeling like I could do this for the next 4 hours with nothing to stop me!  Then around mile 9-10 I feel like this...
I spend the next whatever miles playing games with myself to keep going until the end!  This is something that leaves me feeling totally defeated and definitely questioning my race plans.  Not ready to give up I decided to ask around and research some tips that could help me feeling stronger as the miles tick away.

Laura from Mommy Run Fast is not only an awesome, wicked fast runner, but she's also a certified RRCA running coach offered me this advice:  Start off the first 1-2 miles slower in order to allow your body to warm up and to reserve your energy for later miles.  Also build your overall weekly mileage to boost endurance.  Thanks Laura for your advice!

Coach Jenny from Runner's World had similar advice!  She color coded the miles (you know I love color coding!) 

The yellow zone is your conversational pace...easy and you can chit chat about everything around you.  Orange is where you dial it up a bit...you can hear your own breathing but you are not out of breathe.  Red is your final kick to go hard but controlled.

So the obvious thing is that I need to start out slower in the early miles.  In the past I have tried my hardest to start slow especially during a race where I have people all around me.  I have even put slower songs on my playlist in order to slow me down.  I do find though that when I hit that sweet spot after mile 3 I speed up...I'm feeling great...and as hard as I try my body wants to GO!  Next week's long run thought I'm really going to try my hardest...to make my body reserve it when really I just want to run fast...all the time!

What do you do so that you are reaching the finish strong?

17 comments:

  1. I can definitely relate to this! I always try to go out a little more slowly but sometimes my enthusiasm gets the best of my legs. My trick lately is really good music on my playlist for those last 3-4 miles. I've been downloading new music or songs that really motivate me and save them for the end. It's like a treat knowing their coming and I won't end my run until I hear them. Good luck!!

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  2. when i was running, i always made sure i turned it up at the end of my runs so i was used to doing so on race day!

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  3. I love that Kara picture thrown in there! If only we felt like that on every run. :) Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I think this is really great advice. I am naturally a negative splitter (my body just won't work otherwise) so this is pretty much how I always do it. Heart rate training has altered that a bit, though, one thing I don't like about it! Let us know how this works for you.

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  5. Was just talking about this with my coach this morning and he gave very similar advice. Time to find more slow tunes for the start of the playlist ;)

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  6. I feel you on the need to start slower. Though I'm not a speedster, I do get that competitive tick when I'm around people. That usually blows up in my face just a few miles in...

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  7. Definitely great advice you received. My playlist is always key in keeping me going :)

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  8. I just had this conversation with my step daughter...always start off slower so you can run faster later!! Easier said than done sometimes though ;)

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  9. Love this post as I can completely relate! You even got me chuckling out loud since I have tried the slow songs on the playlist too to try to keep my pace slow. I think starting out too fast last Sunday was one reason my run ended the way it did....one of many....

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  10. Negative splitting is definitely something I'm working on. It can be so difficult to have the restraint to go easy at the beginning. And equally as difficult to pick up the pace at the end!

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  11. Great advice - I'm going to imprint Coach Jenny's chart on my brain for my first half in November!
    I always try to start slow, but my perceived effort seems to change with others around! Instad I rely on the pace on my watch, but that doesn't work very well for trail races.
    One thing I've noticed is that I often finish fast and can overtake a few runners right at the end, so I guess I'm not trying hard enough in the mid stages!

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  12. I'm always in a fog for the first mile at least. My body naturally starts out slower. Good advice!

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  13. Definitely easier said than done. I'm so bad at starting out faster than I should - because I tapered and I'm well rested and then the adrenaline gets pumping and I forget my race plans. ugh!!!! Oh well I do like the color coded chart - it makes the most sense to me.

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  14. I was told the same thing by a local running coach. It takes a while to get used to doing, but it helps. I start most of long runs a 9.5 minute miles and usually end up doing 8 or 7.5 minute miles by the end. It has made a huge difference in my runs.

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  15. When running with a group I'm the one in the back at the start and mid to front pack at the end. It's not that I'm fast. I have always started slow and end with a negative split.

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  16. This is great advice! However, although I KNOW it, I still have a hard time following it! It's so hard not to start out fast!

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