How To Run Faster

Here is a question I get allllllllllllll the time!! Kristen, how can I run faster? Oh and yeah, I know I look crazy in that picture! That’s how  you feel after at the end of a half marathon.

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First let me say, I am not a certified running coach, I am a fitness professional but not in running. I was an assistant cross country coach for like a season, I ran cross country and track in high school, I run a bunch of races but I am not a certified running coach so this is all based on my opinion and experience.

So now how to run faster! The only way I know to actually get faster at running is to run faster. Ha ha, sounds simple and hard at the same time, right. Let me break it down. When I say you have to run faster to get faster, I don’t mean just will yourself to run your normal routs faster then you do on the reg. That sounds kind of daunting especially if you are doing a lot of miles during the week and your runs are long!  Although I have total faith you could do that, there is an easier way.

Track Repeats

I personally believe that track repeats are the easiest/quickest way to speed up your pace. Here is a list of what I like for best for each race length:

5k – 200 meter repeats
Pace – Your one mile pace
Amount – 20 (sounds like a lot and it might take some time to get to 20 but once you do, I’m pretty sure that you’ll be crushing it)

10K  – 400 meter repeats (By far the hardest, but kind of the most rewarding too)
Pace – Your 5k pace
Amount 10-12

Half Marathon  – 800 meter repeats
Pace – Your 10k pace
Amount 6-10

Marathon  – 1600 meter repeats
Pace – Your 10-15 seconds then your desired marathon pace
Amount 4-6

There are a Zillion different variations that you can do with track workouts but I like to keep it simple, zone out, and focus on the work. Chances are that the first time you do these you might not get to the full amount of repeats, that is OK. Start with a few and work up to the full amounts. If you add this to your training, I would be shocked if you didn’t get faster times.

Now you can just do this on the road but I would suggest finding a local track that you can go to. This reduces distraction, makes the distance that much more consistent each time and the terrain will be nice and smooth for you.

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Here is an example of a track workout that I did a few years ago. It was mile repeats. I did three repeats with a mile warm up and cool down. I was training for marathon at this time. I actually ran the repeats a bit to fast, 6:30 pace. That is not anywhere near my desired marathon pace but you get the idea. On a side note, even though I was running my track workouts faster I didn’t hit my time goal that race. Faster isn’t always better, just saying.

I would love to hear what are your favorite speed workouts if you have them!!

Kristen xoxo

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Soooo many feelings

I’m finally starting to come out of my post marathon haze. My body is still pretty broken and I can’t really do any good thinking but I can almost string together full sentences again. There are sooooo many things that I’m feeling right now. I’m feeling relieved that this race is done. I am feeling a lot of soreness. I’m feeling really hungry. I’m feeling happy I had a PR but sad I missed qualifying for the Boston Marathon by 4:54 seconds.

The Boston Marathon. The thing that you never knew that you always wanted until you started running marathons. I’m going to get real here for second. I’ve always been a pretty competitive runner with out a lot of work. This goes all the way back to when I ran Cross Country in high school. I missed a lot of practices but still won races. Must have been genetics because I am certainly not built like a distance runner (thanks Mom and Dad). This carried over to my running as an adult. I do pretty good in halfs with out a lot of running specific training. On my second marathon I only missed qualifying for Boston by 7ish min. I could totally qualify for Boston on my third. I did the same minimal training as my last, but at a faster pace. The California International Marathon is a net down hill, not like a hilly San Francisco course so it should be in the bag, Right?

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Oh boy, did I learn this lesson painfully. Up until mile 22 I had it. With a min or two to spare. Mile 23 was a bit rough but I was still in it. Mile 24, DEAD! No gas left. I couldn’t push, I couldn’t do anything. I could hardly move. I ran right into the wall, bounced off, tried and again and fell right on my butt. I was just a little bit farther then a mile out and saw I had ten min left but just could not do it. It was one of the most humbling experiences I have ever had. Shortly followed by extreme pain when I crossed the finish line. I was totally defeated at the end and it hurt my body and my ego.

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I obviously have amazing photo skills

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It’s clear that I’m a rebel.

Back to the actual race! Amazing race!!! From the start it was awesome! A million porta potties at the start line, win!! The person singing the National Anthem could have been Mariah Carey but I could see her so it was hard to tell. The race was self seeded which is normally a cluster but at this race it just worked. The course is really amazing a few rolling hills to start but it really is great. The on course support was amazing as well as the post race, although I didn’t stay long I needed to go home and lick my wounds.


Here is the sad part about this picture. I have to run a marathon to be able to eat the same amount of food and my Fiancé.

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I can’t

Right after the race, I was pretty sure that I was done with the marathon and was just going to stick to halfs but I’m starting to think running marathons is like having a rager out on the town. It sounds like its gonna be a lot of fun. The next day you never want to be in the same room with booze again but after the hangover has lifted you think it might be fun to have a big party night. Rock on.

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I’m sure this is great for post marathon recovery.

Have you ever had a gut check about your training?

Kristen xo

Last Long Run, Calorie Tracking and Pre Race Jitters

Last Saturday was my last long run before the California International Marathon. I signed up for the Davis Turkey Trot and planned on running 7-9 miles pre-race. Of course because I was suppose to do this run last weekend it was pouring rain this weekend as my punishment.

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It was so cold and rainy I didn’t want to get out of my car!

A few tips for running in the rain:

1. Wear a visor – Keeps the water out of your eyes

2. Use Body glide or Vaseline – It’s much easier to chafe in the rain

3. Don’t wear tons of crazy layers because you think you might get cold – wear what you would normally wear for the temp, plus wet clothes can get heavy

4. Good socks are clutch – If your socks suck you are about a billion times more likely to get nasty blisters. I love the Injinji toe socks. They have significantly cut down the level of ugliness of my toes

The run was good though. I ran seven miles pre-race then ran a 1:53:54 Half Marathon.The post race was ok but I was super soaked so I just wanted to get home so I could get my ice bath over with and then start to warm up again.

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I am obsessed with this medal!

The best part of my training run was imputing it into my calorie tracker. I just started using MyFitnessPal to track my calorie intake. It is awesome for me because I am sooooooooo bad counting calories, macros, or whatever. When you track your food one thing it really makes you aware of is how much you snack. Grab a couple of chips here, a slice of salami there, a glass of juice when I get home. All the stuff that you think is nothing adds up big time!  One of the things I LOVE about MyFitnessPal is that it has a lot of items that I eat already programmed in there like, Wine. It also hooks up with other apps that track runs like Map My Fitness and automatically adds those calories to your daily total.

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Here is my tracker for my 20 mile run! Yeah I got to eat a lot!!

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And here is my tracker for Thanksgiving. Yikes!

Now that my race is getting close I’m starting to get pre race jitters. I’m worried that I’m not ready. I keep thinking over my training and comparing it to last year. Ahhhhhhhhhh! Why did I sign up for this?!?! You know when you have goals but you are to nervous to tell people because what if you don’t hit them? That is soo me! Anywho, does anyone else feel like that?

I hope that everyone had a great Thanksgiving!!

What was your first post Thanksgiving workout? I did BODYATTCK and just about died but I’m out of my food coma!

Kristen xo