Post # 1
How do you guys up your endurance? I’ve been running for almost a year now, and I know that most of the difficulty of running longer and faster is all in my head. It’s almost like I can’t believe I can possibly run that fast or that far, so my mind tells me to stop before my body does. Anybody have any advice on getting past mental blocks in the middle of a workout?
Post # 3
Interval running. I definitely have this problem as well, but whenever I dedicate myself to doing a hard interval training session I definitely see the results, at least as far as speed goes. It’s much easier to tell yourself you’re going to run as hard as you possibly can for two minutes than it is to try to up your pace gradually for an hour. It tends to be really effective, as well, and since you’re going hard to your limit for a short period of time, you’re probably not as likely to injure yourself as you are by overdoing it a little bit for a long time.
I wish I were more help with endurance, though. I definitely have the same combination of mental block / fear of injury / boredom when it comes to running longer distances.
Post # 4
I’m currently having a problem with this, so I wish I had more words of advice to give but I don’t have anything. The interval training sounds smart, though!
I’m training for a half and am stuck halfway there. My brother gave me this to try, which I’m hoping will help some: Instead of saying “My long run today is 7 miles,” say “my long run this week is 70 (or however long) minutes,” and then run however fast you feel like running for 70 minutes. If that means you have to walk part of the way, so be it–don’t worry about miles, just gradually up your minutes. For whatever reason, this seems do-able…but today it only got me a quarter mile farther :-/ I have to work on not having an upset stomach at mile 7!
Post # 5
@espinaca: You mention two separate things: running faster and running farther. To do each, you are going to take different tactics. I am not a fast runner, but I can get out there and plod along for quite a ways.
To increase your speed, hills and intervals will probably work best. To increase your distance, do it steadily and slowly. I like to run outside, so the scenery distracts me. If you run on a treadmill, can you watch TV or movies while you run? That might help you get past the mental blocks.
When I was running distance races, I’d dedicate each mile to a person or place I loved, then I’d make myself a little wristband with the list and wear it for the race. Each mile I’d look down to see what I was running for. Little tricks like that make the miles go faster!
Most of all, just believe in yourself. I can tell you from experience that it is truly 50% mental. Maybe even more. If you believe you can go the distance, you will!!
Post # 6
Sometimes having a mantra helps. One of my favorites: pain is temporary; quitting lasts forever. Also, sometimes I tell myself how much I love hills if I have to do a hill workout. You might try telling yourself that you love running 😀
Post # 7
@BunnyBrideToBe: That’s an awesome tip because it’s what I do in reverse! The reason I got into running was to motivate myself at the gym: If I said I was going to work out for x minutes, sometimes I’d just halfheartedly walk on the elliptical to get my time in. But when I started setting mileage goals on the treadmill, it would motivate me to walk and eventually run faster, because I could get done quicker!
Thanks everybody! I think mantras, intervals (which I’ve just started incorporating but they’re so challenging!) and definately lilybay’s dedication idea will really help!
Post # 8
@BunnyBrideToBe – I agree with you, using minute rather than miles is a great way to increase distance. Back when I started running I was stuck at the 3.5 mile distance, for what felt like forever. I knew around how long it took me to do 3.5 miles, so one day I decided to was going to run x minutes (approximately 5 minutes longer than my 3.5 time) and it helped me get over the hump. Congratulations on training for a half! Is this your first one? I’ve done two and love the distance.
@lilybay – I LOVE the idea of dedicating each mile to someone or something special to you. I am definitely going to do that for my next races. 🙂
I know interval speedwork is the gold standard and a very well known and proven way to increase speed. For me, I never got great results (and I followed a very regimented speed work training, didn’t slack, etc.). Tempo runs do a lot more for increasing my overall speed than running fast for short periods of time. I think running a little faster for longer periods trains my body better and translates to better race performance.
Post # 9
If it’s just the focusing on how tired you are/how much you have left, I suggest that you have a “go to” song that you can play whenever you feel your strength flagging. It should be a song that, whenever you hear it, makes you pick up your pace, lift your head, mouth the words, and keep on going. Mine is “All My Life” by the Foo Fighters–it gets me thinking about the words of the song instead of how much I just want to stop running. I don’t know if you use the Nike + system, with the chip in your shoe that connects to your iPod, but that lets you program your song so that you can navigate to it in one click whenever you need it. Helps me get through the mid-workout slump!
Post # 10
I am going to go along with the PP. Music is my biggest motivator. When I start to hit my “wall” I turn my mp3 player to song that gets me super pumped up, and make my myself get really pumped up. Plus I am always mixing up my play list so I don’t get bored of it, and putting it on shuffle so I don’t know what’s next. That’s just what keeps me motivated 🙂
Post # 11
For me the secret is not knowing where I am in the run or I get psyched out. If I’m running on the treadmill I cover up the display. On the treadmill I listen to music and I know that one song is a little more than a lap (for the most part). So if I have to do three miles I’ll listening to 10-11 songs, check the display and then finish out the mileage.
If I’m running outdoors I don’t listen to music (not safe to wear headphones) so usually I try to change up my route a lot and I use the Runkeeper app on my phone to tell me how far I’m going. Since it’s strapped to my arm I can’t check it very often and I usually try to not check for the first time until I’m pretty tired already.
Other than that I just follow training guides if I’m trying to build to a distance. I’m using Hal Higgdon’s half training routine to get ready for my ten miler. It’s a nice easy way to build up distance.
Post # 12
I switch songs, for one (i’ve been running on a trail in a park near my house) and i keep focusing on new things. “Make it to that….” and then i get there and go “okay you can go a little farther”….and i keep doing that. I also focus on the people around me. watching other people work out, run, play soccer, etc, distracts me from what i’m doing. Imagining myself in a bikini is a decent motivator, too. =P
Post # 13
@RunMegRun: It is my first half! It’s intimidating but I’m doing it, and I’m really excited and enjoying it as I go. I’m glad I left lots of time to train, though; I get overwhelmed and it’s much easier if I can just increase the long run by 10 minutes/1 mile each week. I’m not very fast, but I’m mostly just focusing on finishing without hurting myself, so speed is not really the issue 🙂 I did just over 9 miles today, my new record!
The big brother runs marathons so part of me is kind of down on myself for “only” training for a half, but the other part of me is pretty proud that I’m doing something that’s hard for me. Fiance is helping a lot since we’re training together, too.
@Taylor4:I’m using that training plan, too! Mostly I like it a lot…but sometimes I’m not so good about the days he wants me to run AND lift weights. I pick one or the other. Oops. I don’t like running to music outside, either–partly a safety issue and partly because I find it’s difficult to pace myself appropriately. If I start running 7 minute miles I’ll NEVER make it to 13!
Post # 14
@BunnyBrideToBe: Haha–I’m terrible about the running + weight lifting day. I always do the run and then sometimes do the weights. I find the best is doing the run in the morning and then the weights after work. When they’re split up I don’t dread them as much…