On Sunday*, I ran the Berkeley Half Marathon. I'm excited to report and break down how the race went, because I think there is a great deal to be learned both for myself and for any runner who plans on racing now or in the future.
So to start, I won't keep you in suspense. As far as I'm concerned, the race went pretty well. The time was the slowest I've ever run a half marathon in (1:19:03), but I accomplished what I set out to. I can't emphasize this enough: we are the ones who define our own success. And that success is defined by proper goal setting. I set out my initial goals three months ago and adjusted them based on my training over the last few weeks as the race got closer.
Having decided on a training plan and other things for a half marathon, my next focus was what the cross training will be. My two big focuses in cross training will be developing a strong core and gaining some explosiveness.
A strong, stabilized core is crucial to proper running technique. Explosive workouts are helpful because they are a way to gain some speed and strength without having to run additional miles. Such workouts are also helpful to reduce risk of injury
Let's get one thing out of the way, right now. Yes, I am doing an abs focused workout once a week. But no, it won't help my running in any meaningful way. It will, however, help feed my vanity- which is all of my reason to do it. Embarking on a training program activates a greater sense of discipline, which I am also using to assuage my vanity on the side.
This week I want to share some of my tricks when it comes to peak performance in a harder workout. Last week I did my first tempo run in several years, so it was something my body and mind had not experienced in quite some time. As such, I knew it would present its own challenges. However, I'm proud to say that while I nearly lost it, the workout ended up going quite well.
Having decided to run the Berkeley Half Marathon in late November last week,* there were a series of considerations to get started that had to be made. I thought it would be quite helpful to any runner to have a coach's perspective on what the first steps are when deciding to run a race. This is a quick look at my thought process and how I'd quickly make a custom training plan for myself.
As you may know, I am training for the Berkeley Half Marathon in November.* This article is the second in a series following my process as a coach and runner in training. This week's focus is clarifying one's goals and motivations when training for a race. There should be multiple goals and they should not be limited to a specific time. There are the goals around times and the process of training and racing, and there are the deeper motivations and values that push us in a particular direction.
I'm a runner, and a running coach. I used to race in high school, college, and for two years as a sponsored marathoner. Every time I thought I was done running, it would find a way back into my life. In high school, I left school records (since broken). In college, I wanted to leave school records (the danger of inflated expectations).
After college, under the auspices of a small running store called Topspeed Running in Southern California, I tried again. I wanted to qualify to the US Olympic Trials for the Men's Marathon. To do so, I enlisted the services of a very unusual person.
As my regular readers may know, visualization is a favorite topic of mine. In addition to general mental preparation for running and races, visualization has its own strong purpose. I've explored ways to meditate while running, including heart-based visualizing, a mental playground, and learning how to run from what lights you up.
Today I'm offering a sample visualization which is designed for the Golden State Half coming up in November. This can be redesigned to fit any race and is well worth doing and repeating in the week or two leading up to the race. The general principles followed in it are explained here.
This week I have something a little different. Lisa Hamilton, a fellow blogger at consciousrunner.com, recently interviewed me for her weekly podcast episodes. We talked about running with the mind of mindfulness and meditation, knowing when to push and when to back off, being in the zone, and more!
Check it out at http://consciousrunner.com/cr013-running-with-the-mind-of-mindfulness-meditation/
It all started out the way you would expect. It was a beautiful summer day, and there was a pretty girl, and I was going for it. I was showing off out on the sparkling turquoise waters, going back and forth on a windsurf board that she knew, and I knew, that I had no business using to show off.
After hours out on the water, I started to make my way back to the wooden Turkish yacht the small group of us were on for the week. She came with her friend on the rowboat, and I lurched up from the water onto the boat. My eye aggressively discovered a rowing oar, and soon I was using a cold can of Coca Cola as an ice pack as we headed back to the yacht.
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