How I spent my 36th birthday + There is only so much running we can do…

(leggings, top, headband, gloves, shoes)

My bday was yesterday but we kind of spent all weekend celebrating so I’ll share what I did in pictures before we get to today’s topic.

14.1 miles with as much climbing as I could on the roads!

The Brunch House!

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So so good.

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Soldier’s Hollow for tubing.

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Buon Appetitot in Heber was amazing.

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Deer Creek!

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PF Changs cake for dessert!

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Over the years of training and going after some big goals, I have learned that there is only so much running we can do to get to those goals. Hitting big mileage weeks isn’t always feasible with our schedules and our physical bodies (injuries are just part of the game if we push them too hard).

It can be frustrating to feel like life/your body won’t let you run more in order to hit those dreams but have no fear, there are other things that you can do outside of running to help you get there:

*#1 thing I have found to help me get faster outside of my running—> SLEEP (and the best part is it is free). My best running ever happened when I could (back in the day when all of the kids were sleeping 12 hours a night) and chose to sleep. Nothing helps my training more than sleep. For example, at my fastest—> running 70 miles weeks and sleeping 9 hours a night did way more for me than if I was running 90 miles a week and not sleeping as much (IMO).

*One of the biggest non-running things you can do for your running—> mental training. The more time I spend working on the mental side of running, the faster I get. My favorite sources for mental training are HERE. Think yourself to those goals.

*Food! Eating enough calories and a lot of quality calories just takes things to the next level. Take my word for it, not eating enough left me injured, burned out and coming nowhere near my potential.

*STRENGTH. I’m one to talk, right? It only took me 35 years on this earth to realize how important strength training is but I am feeling so much stronger on the trails and roads. In the past, if I had 70 minutes to work out, I would have decided to spend every second of that time running. Now I would absolutely choose to run less and include a strength workout too for the day in those 70 minutes. The Peloton app changed my perspective on strength, I love it so much now. They have strength classes for runners that include unilateral work and plyometrics which I think is going to make the biggest difference for me.

*Water, water, water—> Simple but true!

*Saving your caffeine for race day. This is something I do (who knows if it truly does help… maybe it’s just the placebo effect) but I love fasting from caffeine leading up to a race so that on race day I can really feel it work. I don’t drink alcohol but I know a bunch of friends stop drinking when training hard and it makes a big difference for them!

*Research the best gear. I can’t believe the difference a fast pair of running shoes and well-fitting running clothes makes for me on speed or race days.

*Be around positive people. Build relationships with the people that bring you up and set boundaries with the people that don’t if you can… It will change the game for everything in your life, including your running.

*If it works with your budget, take the time and money to get sports massages or I love going to a chiropractor ((let me know if you need Dr. B’s information is you are in the area)) often!

*I love a good recovery tool and my favorites are here (Rapid Reboots are my #1 and they help me get faster from the comfort of my couch).

Who knows, each of these things might only make the smallest difference in your running but when we want a goal bad enough, they are all so worth it!

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I hope you have a beautiful Valentine’s Day and if you don’t, I’m HERE for you. Email me please. I’ve had a few pretty terrible ones in the past so I am here for you to lean on.

What things outside of running have you noticed make the biggest difference in your training?

Birthdays—> how do you enjoy celebrating them?

What was the highlight of your weekend?

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