The Ugly Truth(s) about Race Training

For the last two months or so, I've been training to run in the Cap City Quarter Marathon on May 3. I know 6.5 miles is probably not impressive to most, but I wanted to set what I felt was an achievable goal and get my feet wet to see if maybe I could eventually train for a half. Training has been going so-so. I haven't been as disciplined as I would like and I'm paying for it because seriously- I am so slow. 

I'm linking up with Runners Tell All today. The April topic is "a bad race or training and what you learned from it." Because I haven't been at the whole training thing for very long at all, I thought I'd share some of the good, bad, and ugly truths that no one tells you about running...

Sunshine to the Square Inch

the good

Runner's high is a thing, y'all. It is such an amazing feeling of accomplishment to run longer, run faster and run farther than you did the week before. Not to mention the endorphins. Woop, woop!

the bad

It hurts. Inevitably, after every single run, something hurts. If it's not my hips, it's my knees. If it's not my knees, it's my ankles. If it's not my ankles, it's the arches of my feet. It sucks, but it's a necessary evil and trains you to listen to your body.

the ugly

Snot rockets. Enough said.

> > >

Have you ever trained for a race? Do you have any tips on how I can increase my speed?


  1. Yes for runners high! The good news about painful runs are that they eventually don't hurt your body as much as you continue to run and strengthen your running muscles. If you don't already, I highly recommend a running shoe prescribed from a runnin store. That helped me alleviate lots of running pain.

    About getting faster - speed drills really helped me. They don't have to be long drills either. When I train hard I do speed drills once a week and it shaved lots of time off my mile. You can look a bunch up online or I'd be happy to email you some.

    Thanks for linking up and I hope your quarter marathon goes great!

  2. haha I have never successfully snot rocketed. however, I have gotten very good at neatly and productively spitting! (btw, 6.5 miles is SUPER impressive. you go girl!)

  3. hahaha this one is the absolute best. the good is definitely true, and ugh, so is the bad! aaand snot rockets? I'm not gonna lie, I don't know what that is, I don't want to google.. I'm pretty sure I haven't experienced it :-| I also don't spit when I run. Am I weird?

  4. The snot rockets, so true! The other day my husband made a comment about a guy who was running and blew a snot rocket and how gross it was and I was just like...I guess you have never seen me run then? Good luck with your training! Speed work can help you get faster, but the biggest thing that helped me was time and more miles. It wasn't something I really worked on, it just happened after a while.

  5. 6.5 miles IS impressive! Whenever I am a little bit sore after running, I like to think of it as my body's way of giving me a friendly reminder that I did something healthy for myself. Sometimes this makes me feel better, and sometimes I use it as an excuse to take a nap. Ha! Good luck at the quarter marathon!

  6. I'm with Betsy. I've perfected spitting. ;)

    Also, I know you feel like you're slow, but I promise you, PROMISE YOU that you are owning so many other people. Ultimately, your speed is what YOUR body dictates. You may continue to get faster over time, and you may not. But that doesn't make you any better or worse of a runner. The fact that you are getting out there and running is the only thing that matters. :)

  7. Snot rockets for the win! I try to do them when no one is around, but hey - snot happens! Oh the joys of running!

    6.5 miles is no small thing! I think the biggest thing that has helped me get faster is doing fartleks and hill repeats. I enjoy fartleks rather than true speed intervals because they're based on how you're feeling. As you're running, pick a tree/mailbox/whatever, start sprinting, and just as you feel like you can't any longer - go just a bit farther. Then settle back into your comfortable pace. Repeat once you've recovered, and do as many as you can handle.

    I have a love/hate relationship with hill repeats. I enjoy them because a) downhill is always fun and b) they break up the training. But hills strengthen your legs and mix in speed work without feeling like speed work.

    In any case, I agree with Kate that your body will dictate how fast you can go, and that's fine! Good luck with training!

  8. Woo! You're doing awesome :) I totally feel you on the snot rockets! haha. I think, over time, the hurting will get better. I still hurt sometimes, but it's not every single run. 6.5 miles is a big deal, so don't sell yourself short on that one. So glad you linked up to share with us!

  9. As someone who would probably not run if being chased by a homicidal maniac, let me just say that 6.5 miles is AMAZING and impressive!!

  10. Oh snot rockets... necessary evil of running. But even when I start out slow and every inch of my body is screaming turn back, at the end that High is amazing and my body thanks me.