Tag Archive | motivation

A Strong Spring is made NOW

In case you need them: Tips for running in really cold winter weather!



NO to New Year Resolutions

Wouldn’t t we love a clean slate that erases all our little sins and we can pretend things are gonna change starting today? you know well it doesn’t work that way.

I think people with resolutions are kidding themselves.

If you have a goal for the year, go ahead. But if you start on January 1st thinking you’re going to be someone else, you’re are, quite surely, wasting your time.

Now, if you’re going to be at the gym, or running outside, or trying to diet,or whatever it is you want, I’ll totally support you for as long as you can keep that going.

But, if you are really serious about this “new you” I suggest we pick a long term goal. Or an attitude change. Or a sustainable lifestyle adjustment.

I would love to start eating healthier, or logging more miles, starting today. The truth is, I could get excited to do it, do it for 2 days, 2 weeks, or 2 months if I am lucky and then get bored and forget it all.

Instead, I am focusing on a long term goal. I want to get to 40 (in a year in 3 months) in top shape. I have time to figure out what that takes so there is no intense pressure on it RIGHT NOW. The constant day-to-day pressure is what wears the new-year-resolutioners out. I think we need a brain-shift. And to get to work on something we really want. I believe in “if there is a will, there is a way”.

The truth is, there is nothing stopping any of us. If you want something, you could have started on December 31st.

Let’s focus on figuring out what we really want, and then, I AM SURE, we can get to it easily. Let’s change resolutions for revolution. Or, better, EVOLUTION.

What’s your long term goal?

Happiness is Your Biggest Enemy

That’s just how I have been feeling lately. I don’t have any motivation to go out there in the cold and freeze and suffer. Two days ago, I put my running tights at 8 am and by 3 pm, I took them off and gave up on the run.

The quote is from the movie Rush. If you haven’t seen it, I’d highly recommend you do. It’s about two competitors who are complete opposites (personality-wise) and push each other way further than any of them would have gone on their own. It was amazing. One of them is cold, strategic, all math. The other one is passion-driven, all instinct. I’ll get back to this. This is the full quote: Happiness is your biggest enemy. It weakens you. Puts doubts in your mind. Suddenly you have something to lose!

Lately, the cold has me couped up inside. As you know, I always hated running in the cold. But there was always fun to be had, goals to be fun, places to explore… Lately I’ve been feeling like there’s none of that, and all the fun is had inside. Here’s my minus list:

– One training partner moved away, the other one can’t run. And I don’t like running alone very much.

– I also am not much of a group runner. And Juan is too fast for me to run with.

– I don’t have any exciting goals ahead. I’ve signed up for Boston (out of support mostly) but my heart doesn’t seem to be on the marathon training anymore. I have no short term goal. Also, I am not sure I believe in goals… Still, I need to find a half to focus on.

– I am in semi ok shape, but my running has been lacking so much since the ulcer in July, that all my speed is gone. Every run is WORK. And I hate that.

– It’s cold and dark out and I am too comfy and happy indoors.

No big deal, this happened before, many times, even this year. The big thing is, I just don’t feel like running most days. And the one BIGGER thing is, I don’t feel bad at all about it. It is what it is. I know it will come back. I know I will enjoy it again soon. It’s my thing, I just don’t feel normal without running, it’ll definitely come back!! So I have zero intention to push myself. I would like to give myself a few (more) weeks to do what I feel like and then hopefully it will all come back. I am enjoying this for now. Back to more warmth and relaxation.

PS: do watch Rush if you can and tell me what you think! It’s one of my favorites this year! I am still trying to figure out who of the two of them I am more like!

My 2012 Best Practices Official List

I’ve been mentally composing this post for the last 3 months…

I do a “What I’ve learned this year” post every year, but I have a lot going on this year… I did a lot of things differently this time around and I had a great year. Probably my best running year so far. I was able to have the perfect marathon, and a huge PR, while also PRing at the Mile a week before, so it’s not luck or coincidence. Times are a-changing, and you might not agree with some of these or they might not work for everyone, but of course, the more we share the better!

Basically, there are two huge principles that govern everything else:

  1. Biomechanics! Technique is everything. And more so in this sport where we keep doing the exact same movement over and over again! My technique is not perfect but it has improved in heaps since I learned all about biomechanics and became a coach, and this is the first year I haven’t been injured. A miracle! If you’re not working on your technique to address weaknesses and do drills to fend off injury, the stakes are very high. I’ve been able to adjust my cadence from 130 to 190 in a year, and run races without feeling the effort. Efficiency is King.
  2. Be a Happy Runner. That means, no pressure, no expectations, no need to ruin your hobby with crazy demands. Have all sorts of social runs, have fun out there, and please do many other things that are not running. A balanced athlete and individual is always a better runner. It is not only about how many miles you run or how hard you push. Give yourself a chance to relax and bring other things into your running. And don’t make your friends and family hate your Running. Love (for your close ones and your run) should be a part of your routine, just like fueling and warming up!

The Other Key Players This Year:

  • Mileage Compromise. This year I was able to keep my mileage down on recovery weeks/months. I was also able to do a lot more mileage than ever. No need to do 30 miles every week: there are weeks for 20 and weeks for 40.
  • Speedwork. Fine, it’s necessary. It really does help. It makes you develop the other muscles, create proteins and hormones we need, teach your body certain processes, mechanisms, and efficiency, and it will make you faster. Make sure you select the appropriate workout though as you can’t do speedwork every day.
  • Speed on Trails. I got used to doing some of my speed on dirt. Which means.. I recover a lot faster! A few weeks I was able to squeeze in two speed workouts!
  • Drills. Drills. Drills. Drills. Perfect practice makes perfect. Rehearse every movement from your gait, perfection it, make it faster, make yourself super efficient.
  • Run with a Group. It’s obvious: they’ll keep the pace honest. But besides pushing you, they’ll make it more fun. My two usual training partners are faster than me. As frustrating as it can sometimes to always be the one who is suffering, being the weakest link helped me a lot.
  • Consistency. There are always hard weeks. Keep at it no matter what, even if it’s little mileage, or slow. Or cross-train if you’re into that. Keep in mind ligaments start breaking down after 2 days, so less is better than nothing.
  • Specific Training. For Berlin, I did flat long runs. For shorter central park races, I did short hill sprints. There is just so much you could do: train smartly.
  • Less Fuel. Not only I was able to run on a fuel-deprived tank, but I run better. Also, I don’t need as much food the day before a long run or a marathon as I thought. I did a few runs starving and I did a lot better that usual.
  • Coffee before a short race. It works. (But I am the anomaly, I don’t usually drink coffee).
  • Shorter Long Runs. There is a lot to be said for a 14 miler at marathon pace, or a 16 miler at MP+20, or a progression 16. Train smart, less can be more.
  • Speed First, Endurance Second. Even (mostly) if you’re training for a half or full.
  • Try New Things. All the stuff here worked for me this year, but might not work for you, and will probably not work for me next year. Our body adjusts and will create new puzzles to put together and jump over. Do some new cross training, change your routine. You’re not just a runner, become a full athlete. Build yourself into biomotor problem solver.
Thoughts? Ideas? Feedback? Questions? 😉