Minutes seem like an eternity when you’re participating in a sport that is measured in milliseconds. If you have been at it for a while, you may feel you are stuck with your current running time. We’re here to tell you this does not have to be the case! We believe anyone that works hard can take time off their race time. Here are our best tips to help you crush it by race day.
Accept the challenge
When you’re a beginning runner, shaving minutes off your time comes very easily because you have much room to improve. After you’ve been running a while, it is disappointing to plateau. However, don’t get discouraged! This is normal, and the first step to improvement is accepting that this is a big challenge, but knowing you can do it!
Set a goal
Simply improving your time is not a great goal. The more specific your goals are, the more likely you are to accomplish them. If you need general tips for making goals, check out our blog on forming S.M.A.R.T goals.
If you’ve never determined your running pace, now is a great time. There are many pace calculators and apps that will help you determine your pace and how much faster you need to run if your goal is to increase by a certain percentage.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help
Having the right people in your corner is important when you have new goals to accomplish! Even if they aren’t runners themselves, let those who will frequently ask you about your goals know what you are setting out to achieve. Encouragement and motivation from those we love are crucial.
If you have big goals for shaving several minutes off your time, it may be a worthwhile investment to hire a running coach. He or she can help you create a customized plan that is in line with your goals and also fits well with your lifestyle.
Prepare your mind for change
Work on any mental blocks you have about reaching your goal. Don’t allow any negativity to get into your head, and don’t compare yourself to others. This is YOUR life, YOUR goal, and YOUR plan to get there! Don’t be afraid to make changes on how you crush your goals if needed, but don’t doubt your abilities!
Listen to your body
If you have some aches and pains beyond normal soreness from increased activity, slow down or take a few days rest. Pushing yourself to the point of injury causes a further setback. Have enough confidence to take it easy on days that you need to.
If injured or you have a day where you are not feeling up to it, that’s ok and normal. Take up some low impact exercise such as swimming or working out on the elliptical. Even though it may not seem like it since they are not the same, completing other various exercises may still help you to lower your race time.
Don’t forget to take time to add more foam rolling, strength training, and stretching to ensure you are doing all you can to condition your body for your new challenge.
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