by Sandi Nypaver & Sage Canaday
We’ve given advice on how to run hills and how to periodize your training, so now it’s time to give you some ideas for your trail running speed workouts. Before we get into the actual workouts, we can’t forget one very important aspect that can influence whether or not your workout is a success or a failure.
Are you excited about the workout or were you intimidated as soon as you saw it on your training schedule? If you’re intimidated take the time to ask yourself why that is. The workout isn’t mean to hurt you, it’s meant to help you reach your goals. It’s an opportunity to improve. People often get caught up worrying about the pain a workout might induce, but often their present situation is pretty good and they’re letting it go to waste by worrying about a workout that isn’t even happening. Instead of worrying about something that isn’t happening, control the controllables!
If it’s the day before a workout eat foods that make you feel good and get to bed at a time that ensures you get enough sleep. If it’s the morning of the workout, eat something you know works well with your stomach, put on music to get you fired up and you can even start acting like you’ve already crushed the workout (fake it till you make it if you need too!).
If you do happen to have a bad workout, it’s okay! We repeat, it is okay! Everyone has them and a couple of bad workouts don’t mean you’re an awful runner. Instead of dwelling on a bad workout, ask yourself was it just one of those days or was something else was going on? Did you need more time to recover after a previous workout? Did you forget to take into account how a current stressful situation outside of running might affect your physical performance? Do you need to get more sleep? Do you need to work on positive self talk during challenging efforts? If you truly want to perform at your best, you have to be willing to ask yourself questions like this and then make a plan you can follow to help you with your next workout. A strong runner embraces all challenges head on, always willing to learn from both her/his successes and failures.