Do I know much about running? "Eh, a little. I've been running for 20 + years. Jesus. That freaks me out writing that I've been running for 20 years?! When did I get old.
My freshman year in high school a friend talked me into trying out for the cross country team. It was all for show because they would take any warm body. My coach for my first two years was BRUTAL. His workouts were sadistic, such as, hill repeats in a cow pasture on a hill the cows wouldn't even go up or down. My junior year my family moved and I went to a different high school. Joined the cross country team and the coach had a more laid back approach to coaching. Also ran track in high school. After high school I would keep up my running periodically but it wasn't anything consistent until my husband and I moved to Syracuse in '98.
When we moved to Syracuse I went into a bit of a depression. I've never been away from my family. I had no job. Didn't know anyone. So. I ate. And ate. And ate some more. Gained a lot of weight. The only thing that I knew was running. It is what works for me to keeping my weight in check. I often joke that I run to support my eating habits.
What really started me back into serious running and when I say serious, I mean, focused, planned out training, was a few friends who decided to train for a 5k. I trained with them. We moved to training for a 10k. Then a half marathon. Then a full marathon. This year I've completed marathon #4 -- one a year. Mentally I can't take more than one!
Why am I spewing all of this? Although I am open to different training techniques, I have a couple strong opinions about training. The essentials to becoming a stronger, faster and meaner runner is rest, speed work and hills.
What some disagree with is rest or what so many runners forget is that rest is what makes you stronger. Now. I am not saying to take a whole week off between workouts! But incorporating rest into a training plan will bring huge benefits. Don't believe me? Fine. I don't care. Keep running yourself into the ground.
As for speed and hills. Doing these workouts suck. Are horrible. Soul crushing at times, but are an important piece of the runner puzzle. Mentally they make you tougher too. Do it. When I hear people say..."but when I do these it will increase my chances of injury." Getting in your CAR increases your chances of injury! Every time you put your sneakers on, increases your chances of injury. Here is the secret...ready?
Don't do too much...too soon. Have a base. And start to incorporate. You will get faster. You will get stronger.
There you go. You can mail checks to....