What To Do If You're Freaking Out Because You Have A Tough Training Session

Understandably, you’re feeling anxious and nervous that you might not be able to hit the planned splits. Many of us aren’t comfortable with failing and there’s a real possibility this session won’t go well.

Or, at least, that’s one way to approach the session.

What if I were to tell you how you respond to the session is partly determined before you even lace up your racing flats?

That, in fact, how you simply view the session determines what type of hormonal response you’ll get from the session.

Treadmill Workouts That Make Time FLY

Is there such a thing? Well, maybe. If you're an outdoor runner like me, it can be a huge mental struggle to slog through a basic easy run. But breaking the run into little chunks is the way to go. And that's what I've got for you today - 3 workouts, easy, medium, and hard - that fly by so you don't lose your mind.

Planning For Your Fitness Peak

Setting personal best times, beating the competition, and accomplishing goals that once seemed unattainable are just some of the outcomes that are possible when you are in peak condition. Once you've acquired a taste for the feelings associated with being in that sort of shape it can be hard to have it any other way. Here are some questions to consider when thinking about your goals for 2014.

STOP Guessing About Your Training Paces

Here’s the bottom line. Training smart trumps training stupid. Obviously. Yet, the biggest mistake made over and over again is training at the wrong pace given one’s current fitness.

A perfect example is someone who races a 5K at 8 minutes/mile and trains at a nearly similar pace all week. No wonder they a) probably hate running and b) aren’t making any progress.

Proper training means training at a wide variety of paces, but mostly easy.

If you’re running a few seconds per mile slower than your 5K pace, that’s NOT easy. 1:30-2:00min/mile slower than 5K pace is more like it.

There are a few ways to determine your correct training paces, but one of the best (and simplest) is an all-out effort over a measured course or track.

For the motivation alone it’s hard to beat the atmosphere of a race, but let’s face it, sometimes races are just inconvenient and expensive.

Enter the time trial – a low key, inexpensive way to assess your current fitness accurately.

Remember, to get to Point B, you must establish Point A.

Attempting to just wing it and train ‘intuitively’ doesn’t work – unless you’ve got years and years of experience. Why waste your time and effort?

Join Us!

Oh hey – this Thursday night (3/14) at Run Club we will run a 1 mile time trial. Either meet at lululemon at 6pm sharp or at Penn Park at 6:15pm.

You get all the benefits of a time trial – establishing your point A and learning how to pace yourself – plus a positive group atmosphere which will help your motivation to push yourself. And let me re-iterate that you MUST push yourself hard for this to work.

Best part is that everyone who shows up will have they’re unique training paces emailed to them after the run. NO MORE GUESSING!

See you there?


The Single Best Thing You Can Do To Help Your Run

First off, thanks to those who commented on their experiences with changing their running form. I always find it helpful to listen to those who have had success as well as those who didn't. What obstacles came up? How did you overcome them? Check out the comments here. This week I want to fill you in on a secret. I really think it's THE easiest, simplest, and most effective way to fast track your training to a new level. In fact, if you wanted to improve your running performance and were only allowed to pick one of the following options, which would it be?

*High Tech Treadmill – maybe even an Alter-G!

*Idyllic setting of choice – mountains, beach, Forbidden Drive ;-)

*Unlimited shoes and apparel

*Altitude Tent

*Team or committed partner

*Doctor / Therapist on call

Now, to be sure, they will all help you to some degree. However, the one that sticks out in my mind is the phrase “team”. There are just so many good reasons to train with a team, club, or committed partner/friend.

One of the reasons American elite distance running performance declined from the mid-1980s until recently was that runners began training alone. Prior to that time everyone trained in large groups. Once running became something one could pursue as a professional, runners figured they could more conveniently train on their own. They had a paycheck coming to them from their sponsor so why leave and train away from home?


People like to think Kenyans are genetically different. But people who think along those lines are the same people who like to blame others for their life predicaments, too. Rather, Kenyans have always trained in groups – huge groups. Plus, running is seen as a way out of poverty and so motivation is extremely high.

You combine high motivation with others who have the same mind set and you will get some extremely powerful results. Can you think of any examples in your life where you accomplished more than you thought you could simply because you worked with a group?


When I show up at road races or track meets and I see people wearing the same racing singlet there's an instant bond. Like, “we're in this together”. Running for your team provides a whole other layer of motivation because you want to do well for the team. Plus, it's great to connect with like-minded people who share the same passion. As a member of the Greater Philadelphia Track Club I've shared in some incredible experiences that wouldn't have been possible otherwise, like running in the Penn Relays and watching teammates set a world record in the Masters 4X800m!


Perhaps one of my favorite aspects of training with a friend is the social aspect. My buddy and I lead busy lives and the great thing about running is that we can catch up WHILE getting fit at the same time. Amazing! Love those time efficient activities...


I think most of us can agree that meeting someone else for a workout provides just the right amount of accountability that we need to stay on track. We are easier on ourselves if we skip a workout, but feel terrible if we let someone else down. Interesting? Before you know it, you'll have strung multiple weeks of solid training together simply because you were held accountable by each other.


If you see your friend improving and you're running the same workouts, you should expect to improve as well. If I can keep up with my workout partner during a set of intervals, I should feel confident that I can run with him during a race.

Your confidence will also improve in another critical area: training decisions. Not sure which shoes are right? Not sure what type of run is best for your goals? Not sure which Body Glide product works best? Wouldn't it be nice to ask your friends? They'll give you confidence that you're doing all the right things. Now, admittedly this can go both ways. You could also be so inspired or competitive that you do too much, too soon, but hopefully as an intelligent reader of this blog you'll avoid that pitfall.


I actively seek out workout friends who are faster than me because it helps me raise my game. Ever notice you play to the level of your competition? I tend to have better speed than endurance. So, as much as it hurts to run with my endurance endowed friends, I've improved dramatically because of it. Same goes for them. They'd NEVER do any sprinting if it wasn't for me!

The bottom line is this: if you're not training with friends, a team, or a club at least some of the time, you are missing out big time. You'll get faster, save time, make new friends, build confidence, have no excuses and, most of all, enjoy your training. Come join us at Lululemon on Walnut Street every Thursday at 6pm for a taste of the good life!