Where Running Workouts Truly Begin

The true test of a workout is how you manage when it starts to hurt.
running motivation art
Ultimately the real benefits come when you start pushing through the pain and running outside of your comfort zone. This holds true both physically and mentally.

Physically the point of hard workouts are to demand more from your muscles. Make them give you more than they’d like to. You tear them down. Recovery allows you to build them back up stronger…but it starts with tearing them down.

Mentally a runner has to be tough. Tough as sh*t. Have confidence in your toughness, wear it proudly. Workouts are mental tests, they teach you to handle the discomfort so come race day you know you’ve been there. You’ve pushed through that pain before, you know you can handle it again.

The workout really starts when things start to hurt. How will you respond?

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Read tips from the pro’s on MENTAL TOUGHNESS for runners.

More MOTIVATION for runners.

We may be hurting but we STILL LOOK GOOD doing it! ;)

My latest RunBlogRun Article: “Danny Mackey and Racing Like a Beast”
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1) Where do you get your confidence?

Runner #CoreandCake Party! A core routine chased by loads of cake

Let the #CoreandCake Party get going, Runners! :) I’m going to start by showing you a quick core routine that you can do post-run. It’s short and sweet but effective at hitting those important core muscles, so there’s NO excuse for not doing it because you can whip it out fast.

I’ve got some picture demonstrations for a few of the ones that might be trickier to explain. Truth: I actually did a video but I think I’ve already grown tired of my chipmunk voice, so opted for the stills. ;)

Here’s how it works, there are group of exercises. Work up to doing three sets of each group, do all the sets for each group before moving onto the next group. Try doing this (or at least SOME core work) three days a week.

Group A

reverse crunch roll in core exercise
1) Reverse Crunch Roll-In’s — Set of 16

2) Ball Crunch — Set of 30
*Note: for the middle set, I like to mix it up and do the crunches alternating side to side.

Group B

alternating ball reach
1) Alternating Ball Reach — Set of 30
* Alternate reaching opposite hand to opposite foot; 30 total, so 15 each side

split crunch scissor
2) Split Crunch Scissors — Set of 16
* Start laying flat, as you reach up to center with the ball bring your left leg up towards the ball. Lower back down then bring your right foot up to the ball. Repeat.

hamstring ball pulls core exercise for runners
3) Hamstring Ball Pulls — Set of 8 for each leg
* This move works in three phases, and similar to the BRIDGE EXERCISE DEMO I did but up on the ball. Start with one foot on the ball and back flat on the ground, lift your butt up so you’re doing a bridge on the ball, then roll/pull the ball in towards you. Roll out, lower your back down to the ground out of bridge, then repeat. Then switch to other leg.

Group C

1) Push-up — Set of 10-15 (Modify on your knees if you have to.)

2) Chair Dips — Set of 10

BAM!! You can’t tell me you can’t bust that out in 10-15 minutes at most. But the benefits to your running are incredibly important:

* Strong Core = Efficiency. Build up your core and ‘weaker’ muscles so you’re able to hold better form as you run. Maintaing proper form, even as you tire, will keep you more efficient…read as faster.
* Strong Core = Less Injuries. You got it, most injuries are a result of an imbalance that result from a weak muscle. Fix those so you don’t wind up injured and not running at all.

Oh wait, we forgot the OTHER major benefit, you do your core and you get cake too! ;)

#CoreandCake Party Phase 2…

core and cake
Nom.
run for cake
Nom.

eating cake

Cake sees no speed. Runners of ALL levels working hard get their cake! ;)


Nom.
eat cake sweats in the city
Nom….check it out, #coreandcake goes #SweatsintheCity style in my Ezzere Run Your Fortune Tee!!

Check out the AWESOME Lisa @ RunningOutofWine because she’s celebrating all the #coreandcake goodness over at her blog too!! :)

Thanks all your runnerchicks and runnerdudes for coming, now go get YOUR #coreandcake on too! Don’t forget you can tweet/insta/social media #coreandcake all day, seeing hardworking runners devouring their just desserts always makes me smile. ;)

1) How often do you incorporate core work into your routine?
2) What’s your favorite kind of cake, or any dessert?
3) Have you partied down with Lisa yet too?? If not…you best head on over NOW!! :)

Believing, Running, and Lies

A runner’s mind is filled with lies. We live in our own sort of warped reality. I’ve talked a lot about how lies are our little coping mechanism so we CAN stay dedicated and motivated to keep reaching our goals. That lies can be a good thing.

The thing is though, not all of those lies are created equal and it’s important to know which lies you should be ‘believing’ and when you need to be truthful.
believe and lies
Good Lies

* Midway through a workout: “I’m only doing 1 more repeat, don’t worry brain!”
* About to start a workout or at the starting line: “It won’t really hurt, I swear!”
* In moments of motivation lulls to just START running: “Just run for 5 minutes, if you want to stop then you can.

These are the lies that help us tune out the pain and call our brains out when they’re just being lazy. These are AWESOME lies and the ones you should be blasting from a megaphone because they’re coming from your inner rockstar runner. The runner who wants you to achiever your goals…believe everything they say, those lies will fuel your greatness.

Bad Lies

* Mid-workout brain chatter: “You can’t keep this pace up.”
* Starting line: “Holy crap, I don’t belong next to so-and-so, they’re going to kick my butt!”
* Mid-race: “They just surged, they must feel way stronger than me…I’m just going to let them go.”

These are all the things that weak, insecure, tired, lazy, annoying, complaining brain likes to shout at you. These are remarks your rockstar runner persona needs to refute and call-out as lies. “I am stronger than I think. I belong at this starting line. A race isn’t over until the finish line and I know they hurting too, I just need to hang onto them.”

Dangerous Lies

* Mid-workout: “What was that POP? I’m sure it’s nothing…I think this pain will just go away in a second…”
* After 6+ days of feeling like total sh*t and workout times getting progressively slower: “Just suck it up…I’m DOING this long run/workout exactly as was planned 4 months ago.”
* In life: “It’s totally okay that I’ve only slept 4 hours the last five nights and been existing on Sugar Daddies, Ramen noodles and Diet Coke.

You get a runner, heck-bent on proving their toughness and combine that with our own ‘stupidity’ (“It doesn’t hurt THAT bad, I can surely make it three more repeats!”) and that’s when things get ugly. Injuries, Baby, injuries. Runners are always riding a fine line between good pain, bad pain, when to push, when to ease back, and to our credit it CAN be incredibly difficult to distinguish ‘right pain’ from ‘wrong pain’ and from there the degree of ‘wrongness’. I’m sure that reads like jargon to normal people, but runners totally GET exactly what I’m talking about.

The thing is, runners usually have to just learn the hard way and suffer through times when they’ve made mistakes to LEARN. Eventually you’ll come to find it’s better to err on the side of caution. It doesn’t make you mentally weak or a lame-o runner; in fact it takes more self control and confidence to hold back and issue that self-restraint.

Think of it this way. You’re running and mid-workout you definitely know something is off.

Option 1: Either slow down to a pace where you don’t feel the ‘bad’ pain or pull the plug on the workout entirely. Follow it up with some easy days and you’ll be right back into training mode after.

Option 2: Grit your teeth, finish the workout come h*ll or high water. You limp through a cool-down and the grimace never leaves your face. You ice like a mofo the rest of the day, chomp Ibuprofen like they’re Smarites and pray you’ll somehow go to bed and miraculously be fine.

What scenario do you think wins out?? Finally, what’s the WORST thing that could happen if for some reason you could have finished the workout and been fine after? The running police won’t come and yell, “SLACKER!!” at you.

Just keep working hard and remember training works on the law of averages, that single workout isn’t going to ruin your entire build-up to your Championship race.

Why it’s Hard to Admit a Dangerous Lie is Reality

On the flip side, runners sometimes grit their teeth through the ‘bad pain’ because they are afraid that if they stop they’re going to lose the ability to PUSH through the ‘right pain’. I know you know what I’m talking about because it feeds right back into the GOOD kind of lies.

Running hurts one way or another whether you’re injured or not. You can’t let your mind actively be looking for excuses to stop. So naturally there is the fear that if you pull the plug on a workout one time, you’ll start a chain reaction that results in you never being able to finish a workout. This does happen, and it’s mental suicide for a runner but here’s the thing…

…it works on a case by case basis and for lots of runners this fear of ‘losing the ability to push through pain’ is irrational. So, be honest here…you DO know good pain from bad pain, you DO know you can push through good pain, so in those pinnacle moments of needing to decide if you need to stop or not, listen to your gut.
runner bones
If your bones tell you you’re in danger of really doing damage, stop. It’s not worth it. You can’t run at ALL if you’re injured.

The same goes for a runner who refuses to acknowledge they need to ease back and give their body some rest rather than keep pushing, and keep digging themselves into a hole. Again, all those fine lines, but if you’re experiencing chronic fatigue for a week or more, you need to adjust.

Training routines aren’t concrete and always need a degree of flexibility. Flexibility goes both ways, sometimes you need to push yourself harder but other times you need to know when to scale back.

Don’t dig a hole so deep you have to take a full-on break. Sometimes a few easy days will do the trick and breathe life back into those legs!

Wow, so many lies!! You see why I said we live in a warped runner reality, no?! But be smart.

Tune into the good lies and believe them with all of your heart. Then be secure and confident enough in yourself to recognize the bad lies for what they are and face the real truth.

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More posts on CONFIDENCE
More posts on MENTAL TOUGHNESS
More posts on INJURIES
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1) What’s a good lie?
2) What’s a bad lie?
3) What’s a dangerous lie?

Hamstring Strengthening Video For Runners: Keep those hammies happy!

Alright, Runners, time to tell you the brutal honesty about your hamstrings: they’re plotting against you! They’re weak, they’re tight, and they’re cranky! Okay, okay, I’m speaking in the general, so your personal hamstrings (if you’re ALREADY taking care of them properly), may not be secretly plotting away an injury for you in the future…but it’s an ongoing offense we must play.

Hamstrings rank among one of the TOP injuries, or underlying issue for an injury for runners. The reason? Partially our lifestyles with too much sitting and also because runners are just prone to tight and weak hamstrings. The solution? Be proactive!

I’ve put together a video demonstrating an exercise routine targeting those weak hamstrings (and glutes). It hinges on the bridge exercise, doing them as single leg bridges. Aim to do these three times a week after your run, it will literally take you a minute or two, so no excuses!

3 Way Single Leg Bridges
10 raises each leg
3 Different distances from glutes

Avoiding an injury that keeps you from running is an ongoing effort, being proactive in the stretching and core work is your two-pronged approach! These nice exercises are one part of the puzzle and the other is doing the stretching.

Do yourself and the rest of the world a favor and keep being proactive…an injured runner on the streets is NOT someone I’d like to cross. ;)

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Fun announcement! If you follow me on Twitter you may have caught wind of #coreandcake parties that have been going on. It’s simple, do you core and you get your cake! Runners are human, we work well off of bribes. ;)

I’d like to take this party to the blog world! SOOO…I’m having a #coreandcake party NEXT Friday, March 28th and EVERYONE’S invited!! Here’s what’s going down and how you can take part:

1) I’ll be posting a core routine I’m currently loving, followed of course by talk of cake!
2) BLOGGERS: This will be a link-up sort of deal, so if you email me: cait@caitchock.com with an RSVP that you’ll also be talking core and/or cake on your blog we’ll kindly link up.
3) Social Media: If you’re tweeting, FB’ing, or Instagraming on that Friday let’s bust out that #coreandcake hashtag and give me a shout-out…cuz, let’s be honest, I can’t get enough of seeing core and cake taking over the net. :)

So this is your INVITE!! :)
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1) What is one of the ways you proactively take care of your hamstrings?
2) What is one of your known weak spots as a runner that you give extra care to?
3) What’s your favorite kind of cake?
Ummm….chocolate….duh! ;)

Embracing Speedwork: Why running faster is mental AND physical, how to shift your thinking to run faster

So one very hot singer has crooned, “Speed kills…” Well any runner can tell you that one! It’s a little two-fold though, speed kills your opponent and if you consider the lactic acid factor it probably feels like you’re killing yourself too! ;) Remember THIS cartoon??

It’s true, us distance runners, of the slow-twitch muscle fiber realm would most likely opt for a 10 mile tempo than sets of 800′s or 200′s. Distance logic right there.
runner on track
The thing is though, while you can’t inject your distance running legs with fast-twitch muscle fibers you CAN hone the ones you’ve got and it’s quite remarkable how malleable that muscle make-up can be with proper training. But here’s the thing, for long distance runners, GETTING FASTER takes both a physical and mental component.

Physical

I’ve written a few articles on the specific physical training tips to run faster. Distance runners SHOULD embrace those horrid 200 repeats, choke down those shorter intervals because speed translates up. You need to reverse ‘common’ distance logic and build from the bottom (aka shorter distances) up.

The faster you can sprint, the faster you can comfortably hold a ‘slower’ pace and longer. That reads as faster 5k’s, 10k’s, and marathons.

Do those shorter intervals, add some hill sprints, anything that involves explosive power. That’s the muscle-building and training factor.

Mental

Here’s the thing, if you’re like me you HATE that short running stuff because you ‘feel’ like you suck at it. You feel out of your element and get stressed more for the short stuff because it feels awkward, doesn’t come naturally, and thus gets a little frustrating.

ALL those thoughts create is PHYSICALLY impossible to run your best sprints. Crazy how the MIND can once again stop you from being the best runner you can be. The thoughts of feeling ‘out of your element’ create a foundation for stress and rather than running RELAXED as you should, you’re running tense. Ironically the more you ‘try’ to run faster, the slower you’ll be. True fact.

Learning and reminding yourself to run relaxed is an ongoing process. Here are some mental thoughts that can help you stay relaxed and allow your body to run faster:

* Arms: Laws of running physics (?? lol) hold that your legs can only move as fast as your arms. I like this because rather than think about your legs (let’s be honest they’re hurting like mad, let’s NOT think about them at all to block out that pain!) I think of moving my arms front-to-back as quickly as possible. The legs will follow.
turn left on the track
* Eff It: This is the mentality I’ve adopted during short intervals, but let me explain. I KNOW ‘trying’ to run faster will shoot me in the foot, so I force my type-A brain to do the opposite. I remind myself, “Don’t worry about the times, I know speed isn’t my strong point, but it will only improve if I work on it. So eff it, relax, you can’t FORCE anything so just roll with it.” Basically you have to embrace the ‘awkward feeling’, loosen up, and just ‘have fun’ with it. Also, stop telling yourself that you suck at the shorter intervals! ;)

* Effort: Tying to my tip above, ultimately running and training comes back to perceived effort. The watch and numbers only tell part of the story, so another thing I tell myself is, “Just run hard.” Run faster and even if you don’t look at your watch (this can help runners if they have built themselves a little speed phobia) if you’re running HARDER and FASTER you’ll get the rewards.

Bottom line here: even distance runners NEED speedwork if they want to run their longer races faster. Embrace the nasty shorter intervals, adopt the ‘eff it attitude’ and stop FORCING it. Relax the heck up and in true ironic distance logic you’ll run faster when you’re ‘trying’ less. ;)

1) Speedwork, love it or hate it?
2) When is the last time you did speedwork?
3) What’s something you tell yourself to make sure you’re running relaxed?

4 Crazy Important Stretches for Runners: Hamstrings, hips, glutes, and psoas

For once my running cartoons will be used and I’m deathly serious. Stretching, Runners, is no joke. I used to HATE stretching, I’d do it begrudgingly, but ever since my little revelation in Boulder I’ve pulled a total 180.

Now it’s good too because I don’t have a little bit of guilt writing about and telling runners just how crucial stretching is. I’m practicing what I preach, yo.

Areas that rank most common across the board for running injuries and the areas that runners are notoriously tight in are: the hamstrings, glutes, hips and groin region, and the psoas. I took my cartoons and put together a quick stretching routine that you REALLY should be doing as much as possible. Like daily…I’m doing them daily, so now I can say, fully absolved of any lingering guilt, that you should do the same. ;)
[Click to enlarge so you can read text...but please respect a starving artist's work, you can always purchase prints, contact: cait@caitchock.com]
4 important stretches for runners
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More posts on flexibility HERE
And a post on WHY flexibility will make you faster HERE
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1) How often do you stretch? Be honest. ;)
2) What’s one of your tightest areas?
Hamstrings and adductors.
3) What’s something you kinda feel a bit of guilt about when you tell others to do it because you don’t always follow that advice yourself?

Effective Mental Strategy: My first instructional comic book for runners!

I’m excited to share my first RUNNING book: “Effective Mental Strategy: Race better by out-thinking your brain”!!
effective mental strategy ebook
Running hard hurts. In order to race and train your best you need to block out that pain and stay in an effective mindset.

This ebook will teach you strategies to refute those pain messages from your brain and refute that voice telling you to “Stop!” and “Slow down!” Also included are insights from professional distance runners sharing the tips THEY USE to stay mentally tough during workouts and races. These rocking runners, Sarah Brown, Sara Hall, and Jason Hartmann, your brain would go dizzy counting up all their accolades: World Championship Teams, Pan Am Gold, Marathon Titles, you name it!

I’ve chosen to use my cartoons as teaching tools to make the reading fun and engaging. I mean humor DOES make everything better and, after all, while training and racing does require an amount of seriousness, running IS fun. And running personal records are even MORE fun!

This ‘instructional comic book’ is written BY a runner; because who better to poke fun at our crazy quirks and thoughts than a runner herself?!!
effective mental strategy ebook





BUY NOW to order this awesome ebook in PDF form here– $9.99!
*Please indicate if the email you’d prefer the ebook be sent to is different from your payment email address.

This running ebook is also available in the Kindle version at the Amazon store: BUY IT HERE!

running comic book

Sneak peek of what’s inside!

Turning a Craptastic Run or Race Around: It’s possible, here’s one trick!

Today’s run started out like crap. You know the feeling, your legs are wobbling around herky-jerky style and in your mind you feel like a fish out of water. You think, “Good gracious, it’s like these things have never run a step in their lives before!”

Oh the ‘beautiful’ first mile of the not-as-young-as-they-used-to-be runner. It’s almost like you can hear the creaks and pops while the body is cracking off the rust, akin to the running Tin Man. ;)
blurry runner
But you warm us runners up and thanks to the TRUE beauty of muscle memory the fish fins transform back into your actual running legs. Then though, there are just those days. The legs warm up but they still feel like a load of junk, much heavier than they ought to feel.

It happens, all part of the game, and on days like that you just put in the effort. Remember that ‘meh’ runs happen to even the best runners in the world, then look forward to the next run.

HERE is where things get interesting and we can pull a little actual science into this running businesses. Because there ARE ways to turn a heinously ‘meh’, craptastic run around…now not always, yes, craptastic runs will always exist, but if that first mile is particularly heinous don’t lose all hope yet!

animals to run
Super Science Stuff…but not in sciencey lingo

* Two Energy Systems: Distance runners work primarily off of their endurance, cardiovascular system, for the majority of their miles. Easy runs, warming up, cooling-down, even longer distance intervals and races. You get the gist, we’re not out there putting in 100 meter repeats and taxing that anaerobic system.
* Gear Shift: Sometimes us distance runners get ‘stuck’ in a certain pace; get conditioned to that ‘easy’ run pace too much and you can wind up in a rut. When this happens that ‘easy’ pace doesn’t feel as ‘easy’ as it should. Now it sounds counterintuitive but to bust OUT of that rut, sometimes all you need to do is toss in a change of pace.
* Bust the Funk: If you’re thinking, “Running easy feels hard, no way in heck running faster is even possible at this point!”…bear with me. Toss in some strides, a few relaxed surges, then settle back into your easy pace. The gear-shift will have tapped into that other energy system for a bit and two things will happen:
1) The shift caused your muscles to work in a different way, giving a little ‘break’ to the endurance-heavy system. Little breaks feel good, right, those muscles will appreciate letting the other energy system do a little work.
2) Settling BACK into easy pace will feel, well, easier. This is thanks to switching gears but also that easy pace really IS relatively easier than the faster surges.

KA-BAM!! Better run!

It’s funny that sometimes the answer to turning a really craptastic run around is to just play around with the pace, but it’s true. I did the exact thing on my run today and ended up NOT feeling like a fish stuck on the shore. Flip. Flop.

Give it a shot. There are also TWO very important times to remember that a change of pace can leave you feeling like you’ve got much fresher, faster legs:

1) Warming up before a race: Legs can feel like crap during the slow warm-up, bust off some of that sluggishness with strides, and miraculously you’ll feel bouncy after the gun goes off.
2) The Beginning of a Race: Sometimes the beginning of a race can still feel harder than it should, but DON’T give up right away, or use that as an excuse to not put in the effort. Try the same change of pace trick and bust out of the funk.

Keep on running, Runners, hopefully less craptastically! ;)

1) Have you ever tried surges or strides mid-run to bust out of a rut?
2) Have you ever had a race where the beginning you thought you’d run horribly but your legs starting feeling better later on?
3) What is one trick you use to get through craptastic runs when they happen?

Good Pain, Bad Pain? Too Hard, Too Easy? Running Along the Fine Lines

One of the trickiest things about running is it’s wrought with ambiguities. So many fine lines: how hard is too hard, what is too easy, when to push rather than pull-back, and differentiating between what kind of pain requires you to put your big girl/boy pants on and suck it up versus the kind of pain where you need to stop. That’s not even the full list of running ambiguities.

For a runner that’s training, in order to improve there are plenty of times where it just plain hurts. Part of training becomes callousing your mind to that pain, using mental tricks to dull the complaints from your mind and muscles, and getting used to the discomfort. But then we also are told of the importance of easy days, recognizing the signs of burn-out, or days when the legs just don’t show up and the workout needs to be adjusted.

running in circles

All this is enough to make your brain run in circles!


Paramount of all kinds of pain for runners to be able to correctly identify are the ones signaling an injury. Catch that pain early enough and you could avoid a chunk of time off and lost training, or push through that pain, keep running, and wind up going until you’re literally broken.

The conundrum only goes further as no one can really EXPLAIN all these wrong pains and fine lines. Tired versus lazy, too easy versus too hard, etc. because everyone interprets pain differently and has a different pain threshold. When one runner says their leg hurts, depending on the person that could mean their calf is sore or their hamstring was torn and it’s balled up down near their knee.

Sometimes a runner needs a swiftkick in the butt, other times a runner faces an even harder reality and they need to cut themselves a break. Get doing this running business long enough and the word ‘day off’ reads as a death sentence.

Times for the Kick in the Pants VS. the Death Sentence (aka when a runner needs to ease up):

* Tough Love: It’s just a day where you’re feeling ‘meh’. You’re tired, you’d rather sit down, go out with your friends, the run just isn’t the most enticing thing. Motivation lulls happen, TIPS HERE, you just have to lace up and get going. The first mile will be the hardest, then you get into it.
* Corny Tender Lovin’ Care: It’s been a string of days where you feel ‘meh’. Your legs are more than tired, they’re heavy…every.single.time.out. Time to assess your training, your workouts, health, etc. What’s up? Are you digging yourself a hole?
* Tough Love: The workout for the day plain scares you. The first mistake is dwelling on that fear; it’s even risky admitting to yourself you’re scared of it. NEVER out-think yourself from a workout before you even start. Be confident in yourself, but sometimes you need to just fake that confidence, every runner does that too…but they don’t tell you. The pain, times, workouts can be scary if you really think about them…so you don’t. We play the ignorance is bliss card and just START. Then take everything as it comes.
* Corny TLC: You’re running the workout and the times are horrible, like deplorable. The conditions are just as heinous, you feel like you’re running on the sun, or into a headwind, or through a snowstorm. Don’t take the times at face value here, go off of effort. Numbers can’t tell the whole story, and if you start berating yourself for the slow times then you’ll wind up sandbagging the workout and not getting the benefit. It comes down to EFFORT…conditions are not an excuse, they really do affect the times. Still put in the effort, and the workout will give you the benefits intended.

tough runner

Runners are tough…sometimes TOO tough.


* Suck it Up: You just got passed in a race. Rather than let your mind tell you, “Welp, we’re tired anyways, so who cares…let them go.” You need to FIGHT. Leach onto that runner, get right on their butt, and use them to tow you along…tuck in. A race isn’t over until you cross the line; you can gather energy behind them and surge later.
* MAJOR Corny TLC: Bam…you’re running and you step wrong, your quad lights up. You know that pain…a mile later and the pain hasn’t diminished. You’re tempted, “It’s okay, I know I can just finish this workout, I can get through it.” But that knot in your stomach knows the truth; if you push it until the end of the run you’ll probably be limping all day, if walking at all. Rather than running until you’re broken, be SMART and STOP. Hit up the injury rehab and cross-training for a little while now, rather than being chained to the da** cross-trainer for months.

Good pain, bad pain? Too hard, too easy? So many lines, so many ambiguities, so many decisions to be made on the fly. The longer you run though, the better you get at recognizing the differences and when you need a kick in the pants versus cutting yourself a *gasp* break.

1) What’s a time when a runner needs the kick in the pants?
2) Give an example of when some corny TLC is in order?
3) Lessons are often learned the hard way, share a story of a lesson you learned as such.

Runners Moms Are Better Moms

So is this runner still alive? Yes, don’t worry, and rest assured I’ve been putting in my miles like a good little Arty Runnerchick as well. I apologize for my slight dip into obscurity for awhile here, but the GOOD news is I’ve been working on a few awesome projects for you. So do stay tuned for more on that. Lots of artage and wordage is to be expected.

Today is a special day. The Earth actually paused for a minute, did you feel it while you were out on your run? It’s actually my mom’s birthday!! She’s also the person responsible for getting me addicted to this whole running thing in the first place. :)
fit mom
Growing up I watched my mom get up at the crack of dawn to get her run in before dashing us off to school and then go to work. I believe the best way to beat this whole slothy-obesity issue is for parents to lead by example. She did that for all of us kids. What’s more is she is a living, breathing, excuse-buster.

She’s popped out four kids, works two jobs, is Team Mom for my littlest brother’s Football and Rugby teams, goes to every game or event possible one of us chillun takes part in, and STILL makes fitness a priority. Like me, she’s not shy in saying her workouts help keep her sane.

My mom was also my training partner while I was still living in their house. I’ve run more miles with her than anyone else in the world. Easy days, she would be a trooper and get up for my runs at unholy hours because I had to be at school. So today I’m sharing some things I learned from the best woman in the world…

1) Consistency: Everyone non-runner or non-worker-outer in the world has asked us ‘freaks’, “What’s your secret?” There is no flippity-flip secret to staying in shape and getting faster, stronger, and better. It takes putting in the work every day. Motivating yourself when you’re not feeling it, and doing the work. Be consistent and I swear you’ll improve.
tough runner
2) Hardest Part is Done: We’d joke after our runs, “Well, hardest part of the day is done!” It’s kind of true to a point. Running, even those ‘easy’ days, is never purely easy. There’s always some discomfort, that’s the point, it’s work. Running also makes you tougher in life; it teaches you to persist, persevere, and work towards goals even when things get tedious.

3) Easy Does Count: I’m not a hypocrite here, but getting back to those easy days…you need them. My coach loved that my mom would ‘keep me honest’ and make sure I didn’t go too hard on many of those easy days. Runners need those easy days so they can recover and then be able to actually go hard on those hard days.

4) Love the Run: Every runner goes through lulls in motivation, but there is a difference between a lull and burn-out. My mom taught me that you should never come to begrudge running, because if you do that too long you’ll lose your passion for it. Cherish the run, and if you see the signs of mental burn-out, catch it for what it is, do what you have to do, and find that SPARK again.

I have an infinite amount of respect for mothers who are leading by example. Staying fit, making running (or whatever workout) a priority, and showing their children that running and working out is freaking AWESME! :)

1) Did you grow up with parents who were fit?
I thought every mom ran before school up until I started doing sleep-overs at my friends’.
2) What is something you say when non-runners ask you, “What’s your secret?”
3) How do you keep your running spark alive?