How to Improve!

5k Chart 2I am still in shock that my average 5k time dropped by almost 2 minutes.  What changed?  I have always been consistent with my running workouts and the occasional cross training (bike, swim, workout class).  Heck, when I was in college my coach specifically designed our workouts to do well in 5k’s.  Today, I’m just going by what I feel is best while being a busy mom to three little kids!  Plus, to think that less than one year ago I was 40 pounds heavier, not running at all, and about to give birth to a baby!  Shouldn’t it take me longer to improve this much?!  I mean did I mention that I ran COMPETITIVELY in college?!

I have a lot of people ask me how I am able to run faster now than ever before.  I have become really good at listening to my body.  I know when I need to run or strength train and when I need to rest.  I have been injured (not able to run) a handful of times and I know I do not want that.

What I usually do on my runs each week:

  • 1-2 days I do a tempo run for anywhere between three to seven miles.
    • This is faster than my normal running pace but still not race pace.
      • Usually 7 to 8 minute miles.
  • 1 speed day for anywhere between one mile to five miles.
    • This is race pace.  I may actually do a race, go to the track, or just do pick ups in my neighborhood.
      • Usually 6:30 to 7:30 minute miles.
  • 2-3 easy days for anywhere between three to ten miles.
    • I run at whatever pace feels comfortable or even that feels slow.
      • Usually 9 to 10 minute miles.
  • 1-2 rest days
    • I try to not even do a DVD workout.  Sometimes I end up pushing the stroller a lot or holding the baby too much and I don’t feel completely rested, but then I add an extra day of rest!  IMG_0616

So If running has not changed me… What has?

I am stronger than ever.

Here I am on November 3, 2014.  I was in shock that my third baby would be such a trouble maker… even before he was born!  (I am still kind of surprised sometimes that while we didn’t find out the sex…. I was sure he was going to be a girl!  Only a girl would act this difficult! haha!)  This little man was breech… the doctors are completing a successful version (externally flipping him)!  I feel like at this moment I became even tougher.

IMG_0459Shortly after baby Jayce entered the world I began going for walks (which I can’t stand… they take too long).  That led to running for a minute at a time.  By four weeks I was running (slowly) a mile here and there and got the OK from my doctor to continue running and starting DVD workouts!  Here’s where I began to build my strength:  DVD workouts!  I’ve always gone to weekly exercise classes but I’ve never done strength training like this every day!  The consistency was key (I still took at least 2 rest day a week)!

Now, at 10 months postpartum I am still loving DVD workouts, my nutrition is better than ever, I’m in the best shape of my life, and I’m running the fastest times of my life.  I’m motivated to keep improving and getting even stronger!

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