Last month was definitely a tough one for me. Thankfully, June was all about the mental game. Remembering to focus on the mental aspects of running was really helpful in sticking to my training, especially through another move and a huge work trip.
1. Follow the training plan. I am pretty good at this, except when I travel. Most of the month, I was able to fit in missed early runs later in the day and although I had to make some modifications based on where I was, I still got a workout in when I needed to.
2. Find the race in the workout. I pushed myself to hit my goal paces for speed runs, and I was actually able to do it without dying! I can barely do all 5 Yasso 800s at goal pace, but I can do them! Now that the Texas heat is slowing me down, it will take me a little time to manage any more, but I’ve got a few months before race day.
3. Take small bites. Breaking a workout into pieces is always helpful for me. Easy runs are the worst because there is nothing to break them up like during speed workouts. My out-and-back course in Chicago was perfect because I just had to focus on getting to mile 4, and then I got to turn around. Most of my Texas runs have been the same, just by virtue of not wanting to get lost, but with a few more loops as I try to find routes that are the right distance so easy runs definitely seem much longer!
4. Relax. This is way harder than it sounds, but loosening up really helps me feel stronger and faster. Yoga has dramatically helped my breathing, which is what I focus on when I get tired or tense.
5. Repeat a mantra. This was the critical tip this month for me. This works, people. Use it. My mantras were “Grace. Strength. Power.” and “You can do hard things.”