So, you want to train for a race?

20 Jul


I hope everyone is enjoying their week. It’s Wednesday, but do not expect a WIAW here. Sorry to disappoint you all.

I can’t believe my blog has over 1,000 comments now… all from me. No. But seriously. I never thought my blog would come along. Thanks you guys. I owe you a vlog soon. Maybe a Q&A vlog. I think I’ll do that so if you any questions, ask away.

By the way, I got a new phone! It may not be an iPhone because AT&T directly told me I could not get one. I’m not joking so I bought the Samsung Infuse. Two-hundred dollars out the door now… of my own money. I’m broke again. I guess that’s why I work like 24/7.

It is awesome though. It’s the closest thing to an iPhone, but without the whole Apple buying my soul deal. Check this motha out.

So, I was thinking that if anyone you bloggie boos want to be my texting buddy, hit me up. Just send me your number at and we can exchange numbers. I promise I’m really not a fifty year old guy pretending to be an 18-year-old crazy runner.

Also, let me know what your favorite apps are! I’m totally on the lookout for some really good ones. Dailymile anyone?


So, you want to train for a race?

I have run several races including 5k’s, 15k’s, 20k’s, 3k’s, 800 m, 1500 m, and one half marathon. I personally love training for races. As of now, I am training for another half marathon that is trail race. While I may have not done an abundance of races since I have only been running for about two years, I have learned from past mistakes. I thought I would share some tips for training for any race.

 How to train for a race Christy’s way:

1. Buying perfect running socks is just as important as buying running shoes. I am so meticulous about the socks I run in.  My favorite pair is a pair of wool socks that are semi thin. They are perfect year round despite the fabric being wool. In the winter, they keep my feet warm and in the summer, they keep my feet dry from sweat. I also get blisters so they are awesome for that. Lululemon has amazing running socks except I think they are too thin. Invest a good pair of socks. While Adidas and Nike socks work very well, sometimes socks from your local running store do wonders. Also, buy compression socks. I sleep in my mine and wake up with healed legs.

2. Before investing in a pair of shoes, get your feet tested. By tested, I don’t mean take a quiz or something like that. I mean get your gait/stride/running style analyzed. Many running stores offer an analysis of how you run free. You may think you are a neutral runner, but find out you need stability shoes. Ahem, like me. Running in the wrong shoes that do not fit your feet correctly is awful. You may not feel it right away (like me), but eventually you will be injured (like me) and it sucks. Period.

3. Aches and pains happen, but it should not sideline you. Don’t be a baby. Your calf hurts and you think you should skip a day of running? No. Don’t do it. Get out and run. Aches, soreness, and some pain happens when you run. It is a part of the territory. Suck it up and get out there. Running may help (Source). I may have a sore knee, but I ran anyway. If you are saying “ow” with every step then maybe you can pass up  a run. Just know your body. Sometimes I think runners are such cry babies about every ache and they think they should take a day off. How will you ever get stronger?

“Learn to run when feeling the pain: then push harder.”

4. Don’t be afraid of taking pain relievers. I know they say don’t take any pain relievers before a run, but if just you have a little knee ache, take one. If it still hurts on your run then maybe you should just slow down your pace or just cross-train instead.

5. On that note, cross-train! Cross-training is vital to being an all around athlete that will make you stronger in the long run. Spin class is great for getting faster and the elliptical is great for any recovery days.

6. Strength train; especially the back of your legs. Runners typically forget or just ignore the back of their legs when strength training, but strengthening your glutes, calves, and hamstrings will help you run better. In addition to strengthen your legs (do not be afraid to go heavy), lift weights with your arms. You do use your arms while running anyway so work them, girl, as well as your back muscles. Don’t forget your core! I do abs every night before bed. No six-pack yet though.

I need to catch up with Kara still.

7. Don’t be afraid of running seven days a week. As long as you include three easy days, you’ll be fine. Your body will adapt. We were born to run.

8. Include tempo, hills, and easy runs in your training schedule. Simple as that. Even if you don’t have any hills in your race, do them. They will make you stronger that when you run on a flat course, you will speed right along.

9. Do one training run that is the length of your race. This will prepare you for the actual race day. Wake up the time you would on race day, eat what you need to, stretch, run the distance, and yada yada yada. Then change what you need to change accordingly.

10. Do at least one run longer than your race distance. Say you are running a half marathon that we all know is 13.1 miles. Before your race comes up, it would be a great idea to run maybe 14-16 miles with the last few miles being fast pace. This will test your legs and make you beast. On race day when you have that .1 mile to go, it will feel like piece of carrot cake. I love cake.

11. Foam roll!

Make time for it. I know how difficult it is to ‘fit’ in foam rolling, but the best time to do it is before you hop into bed or immediately after you run. Don’t forget to roll out your feet too with a tennis ball or rolling-pin.

12. Ice aches when needed and take a hot bath at least once every week. I know every runner says take an ice bath, but hot baths with epsom salt help a lot and they are relaxing.

13. While taking that hot bath or when you are icing your knees for 10-15 minutes, read a running book. I recommend finding an inspirational running book or even an educational one because it will motivate you.

14. Use IcyHot. I love Icyhot.

I have the roll on stick and if my knee is bugging me, I just rub it on there and viola!

15. Just run.

If you don’t feel like doing  tempo run or strides, just run for the fun of it.

16. Don’t forget your competitive drive. Be fierce during a race! It’s a race after all. I don’t want to hear that bullshit of, “Oh, I just race for fun and everything is just fun and dandy. This is just a training run. Fun times, everyone!” No. Race hard. Let your animal out. 

How not to train for a race:

1. Stay up until eleven watching Seinfeld while sitting on your foam roller. Hi, I did this last night. I had good intentions though.

2. Make every run speedy. It’s okay to run 7 mile paces. That’s what I tell myself. Yours may be different.

3. Have fun. Running is not about fun. No fun allowed in running.

Do I look happy? No, because running doesn’t involve having a good time.

Things to not worry about while training for a race:

1. Eating too many sweets. You will burn them off.

Who cares? Froyo the night before a big race? I did it and I ran fine.

2. Not doing track workouts. I hate the track with a passion. If you want to do a speed workout, do it on a regular run by adding sprints that last 30 seconds to a minute.

3. Wearing underwear as your racing outfit. Save it for the big league.

I hope you enjoyed my racing/training tips. I guarantee you will win your next race.

I guarantee it or your money back. Send me the money first though. I need it.

Do you have any tips to add?
What was your best race? 

‘Somewhere in the world someone is training when you are not. When you race him, he will win.” – Tom Fleming 

* FYI, take this with a grain of salt. There is added sarcasm in here, obviously. And every runner is different. What works for you may not work for me and vice versa.


25 Responses to “So, you want to train for a race?”

  1. Tara July 20, 2011 at 4:41 PM #

    Hmm, I can’t say I agree with all of these, though I do agree with most (Tara + Advil = BFF). I perform better with rest days and i’ve tried to go longer without them. My performance suffered. It just kind of depends on the person.

    Number 16 is the best. seriously, the fun part is racing hard and kicking ass. Who cares if it hurts? Winning hurts, but losing hurts more.

    • Christy July 20, 2011 at 4:56 PM #

      Mhmm. Every runner is different. Very true.

  2. trailroadcrosscountrytrackrunner July 20, 2011 at 4:57 PM #

    This is an awesome post! 🙂 you should make a book!

    As much as people say, ‘oh I ran that race for fun,’ a race is called a race for a reason….

  3. Alexandra July 20, 2011 at 5:17 PM #

    I’ve been LOL’ing so much in this post, love it!! 😀 “Stay up until eleven watching Seinfeld while sitting on your foam roller.” <–That'd totally be me, I get in such a trance watching comedy haha

  4. allieksmith July 20, 2011 at 5:31 PM #

    This post was too cute! You know your running Christy!! Love it 🙂

  5. katshealthcorner July 20, 2011 at 5:47 PM #

    Thank you for all of these tips! I’m doing a 5k soon, so these really help! 🙂

  6. Isabelle@cheesymiteapples July 20, 2011 at 6:24 PM #

    Awesome training tips 🙂

  7. Sweet Cheeks July 20, 2011 at 6:39 PM #

    So…you’re saying you would make fun of me if I wore underwear to a race? :p Seriously though, love the advice in this post. Sounds really solid!

  8. herrsolera July 20, 2011 at 7:01 PM #

    Excellent post and very helpful tips. I like the idea of running not being fun — true, it can be rough, painful and even torturous at times. But I think the euphoria you feel when you’re finished, knowing you just improved yourself, makes it somehow fun. With quotation marks, of course.

    • lifttorun July 20, 2011 at 7:31 PM #

      Very true.
      There was a little sarcasm in that. I do find running fun at times. (:

  9. Alyss July 20, 2011 at 7:23 PM #

    some great advice, and some really bad advice too! You are such a great runner, but you also are so disordered and obsessed with exercise and weight that it is a little sketchy taking advice from you. The great runner side of you makes me want to take most of your advice, but seriously rest days are needed by most people and call most runners “babies” about injuries is lacking common sense, I can telly you are young. You’ll grow up one day, hopefully, and realize how d-u-m-b some of your thoughts were, its life

  10. Jessica Rose July 20, 2011 at 7:47 PM #

    You are so much more hardcore than I am. That’s why you will race against Kara one day… and I’ll watch on my TV 🙂 haha

  11. Amanda @ Running with Spoons July 21, 2011 at 5:33 AM #

    Hehe great tips, although a little hardcore 😉 I think it’s most important to experiment with different things and see what works best for you.

  12. Hollie @ Lolzthatswim(andRun) July 21, 2011 at 7:22 AM #


    I really think we would live the dream that way. Um anywho-your quote (because I’m quoting you) about running not being a good time. So agree. I don’t know people complain they are in pain (like from running…) that is what it involves!

  13. runningperspective July 21, 2011 at 11:28 AM #

    dude ahha lovee thisss!! make my freaking injuries go away so i can bother you every day asking you what i should do runningwise that day to train for my halfffffffff

  14. Rach @ This Italian Family July 21, 2011 at 3:18 PM #

    Oh gracious, icyhot has most definitely become my friend. Makes me feel like an old man, haha!

  15. Avri July 21, 2011 at 4:28 PM #

    you know, you act like you’re being overly sarcastic and stuff – but in reality you know that you aren’t.

    being bitchy obnoxious and defensive in your responses to comments that expose the truth really isn’t helping you. just saying.

    you’ve admitted to yourselves a bunch of times that you need to put on some weight – yet you still complain about feeling super bloated and fat

    reality check: you’re not fat.
    no, you’re not deathly ill either – but you have an eating/excercise problem and you need to admit it to yourself instead of simply being bitchy

    did you know that a bitchy attitude is just another sign of undernourishment?

    • lifttorun July 21, 2011 at 8:54 PM #

      Alrighty then. I don’t know where in my comments show that I am being bitchy, but whatever.

  16. sarah July 21, 2011 at 6:33 PM #

    I love this post(& all your posts!),you’re a really talented writer(&runner!), so funny and well written.
    I think most of these tips are right on , except Iv ran through pain & caused more than 1 stress fracture & simply can’t run everyday(doctors orders)- but that’s just me-everyone is different.
    I like tip 16 the best.

    • lifttorun July 21, 2011 at 8:51 PM #

      Oh of course. I don’t even run everyday. Hahah.

  17. Jess July 21, 2011 at 7:07 PM #

    These were funny–as long as we listen to our bodies, i think we’re going to be a-okay 🙂

  18. Kate July 22, 2011 at 5:23 AM #

    Hahah, I laughed out loud at some of this post. Not because I was laughing at YOU of course. 😉 You are a good writer! This reminded me a lot of “The Runner’s Field Manual” in its sarcastic humor. But I have to say, after experiencing multiple stress fractures and injuries within just the past few years alone, I would STRONGLY suggest to every runner (young or old) that they, number one, include AT LEAST one rest day in their training plan, and to make sure to EAT, EAT, EAT. I have struggled with an eating disorder in the past and to this day I still have issues sometimes with getting myself to fuel up properly. I’m injured right now and it’s even more important to make sure I’m taking proper care of myself.
    I love your hard-core attitude, and I’m jealous of your speed and your crazy long runs, but reality is, most people aren’t able to do what you do and everyone is different. That’s one thing I love about running. There’s no “one size fits all” rules to follow, you just have to listen to your body and use common sense. 🙂


  1. Seven Links and a Review « lifttorun - July 26, 2011

    […] Helpful: So, You Want to Train for a Race? Hey, I thought it was helpful despite the fact that I called bitchy because of […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: