In the past few weeks my wife has been transforming into a Killa Runner. She is finishing her long runs stronger and yesterday’s 10 mile run was great! This was the same 10 miles she flipped me the bird because she was not happy with her performance LOL! This time I got non of that! She finished the 10 miles stronger and almost 20 minutes faster than the last time she did it. This is huge!!!! Thru hard work and dedication she has been improving. Also, my running team has helped a lot too. They stay with her at some points pushing her pace or even so she could stay at a steady pace. So I thank them a lot because it keeps my wife motivated. The unity in the team is amazing! That’s what I love about this team. They all care for each other and push each other to do better.
Determination is what it takes to get better at anything that you want to improve on. So thru the process of elimination you learn what you need to work on. For example, if you want to be a faster runner, you check if your form is correct, what areas of your body are weak or tight, do you need to lose weight to improve running efficiency, does anything hurt and etc. Going thru a check list of what your body needs to achieve your goal is the first thing. Then you can tackle some of these issues one at a time. Be patient but determine. Never divert from the plan and you will succeed! Most people get frustrated half way into the process because they feel they are not where they want to be. This is when you go thru the check list again. If you have less on the check list to do then you are improving but need more time to reach your goal. If you have more on your check list, you either diverted from the plan or did too much and created another imbalance. Always ask yourselves, Why Am I doing this? If the first answer is not because it’s fun, then you need to pick another goal. Yes you do it because it will get you healthier, it releases stress, because it’s on your bucket list and other very significant reasons. But it needs to be fun! The more fun you make, the more you are going to stick with it and the more you are going to succeed in this sport.
The next challenge for my wife is this Sunday on a hilly 5K race. She did it last year and it was tuff so I’m excited to see how she does. So stay tuned to the blog and keep getting in shape yourselves!!!
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For the past few weeks we have been training for the Miami Half Marathon. My wife was a little frustrated because she was not finishing as strong as she wanted. I told her she needs time and not to be too hard on herself. This took several conversations to get her to commit to the plan. The plan was to run her race. What does this mean? It means basically stay focus on herself, relax and not put too much pressure on what the outcome would be. Easy to say but very hard to apply because she always wants to do her best on a timed race.
We get to Miami and my job is to keep her as relax as possible. The runs that we’ve done in New York were in 10 degree and below temperatures. So running in 70 degree weather and humid was not going to be easy for any of us. Also, past races in the heat she has never done well. My wife finished all of those races feeling terrible and slowing down in the end.
The team had some fun the day before the race but you can tell everyone was focused and concerned about running the next day. I personally like this feeling but I can understand the anxiety that builds up. I told my wife to hydrate well and again to stay relax. The next day once the race started I knew it wasn’t going to be a fun race. It was hot and humid and no water stations until the third mile. It was brutal and I knew everyone had to dig in deep physically to finish the race. I wasn’t worry about my wife but I was just wondering if she took in the lesson and pull off a good run for herself. I struggle throughout the race. It was too hot for me and I found that there was not enough water stations. I pulled off some negative splits towards the last three miles. I always say, “you have to finish strong.”
My wife ended up learning the lesson. She ended the race with a better split than her previous runs and more importantly, she finished looking very strong! She did it! She stayed relax, worked her plan and felt great in the end despite the horrible weather conditions. I feel very happy and proud that she is finding her way. Another notch on the Coaches belt. But now we have to get her ready for the NYC Half Marathon coming up next month. The story continues!
My wife’s running, I believe,is improving. She doesn’t think it is because she is struggling at the end of her run. So again as the Coach I have to listen to this and try to understand her frustration.
Last week’s weather was not great for running. The freezing low temperatures and snow made it impossible for her to run outside. Normally I would say run on the treadmill but I know she would think running on the treadmill was going to be horrible. So I told her to relax and do her CrossFit endurance workouts and concentrate on hydrating so she can be ready for the weekend.
For the weekend we were looking to do 10-12 miles in Central Park. I know this was going to be a challenge but I wanted her to do it nice and slow so she can cover the distance. It was freezing and again she didn’t feel great towards the end of the run. Luckily for me I was around this time to run the last couple of miles with her. I learned from last week! But the damaged was already done. She didn’t feel great about her performance and she was looking at me to blame. I guess she learned from last week too because I didn’t get the middle finger this time. What I did get was a play by play why she is not doing better. As a coach you have to understand this is very frustrating to hear because as a coach you are looking at all the other great things the athlete is doing. She has not missed any of the long runs, is super dedicated and she is running faster in the beginning of her run. This is why I think she is improving and ultimately she agreed.
I’m not just training the physical, I’m training more the mental in this case. I know it’s hard to run faster and go further for any runner. But I keep going back to this key point: You have to look at the individual and not just the workouts. What works for one athlete might not work for another. Considering my wife missed crucial runs during the week because of the weather, her pace in the beginning of her run was faster than her previous runs. That alone is great! Once we can get her weekly runs to be more consistent and add some speed drills and tempo runs in, her second half of her long runs will be better. I understand the process and I’ve managed to make her understand this. My wife understanding this process is the key lesson. She needs to know why she is performing a certain way and not get frustrated as result.
She is starting to understand that the workouts are one part of training and how she views her performance is another. An athlete needs to put in the work and ask themselves, Why Am I doing this and is it worth it? The first answer should because I enjoy it. The second answer should be yes as long as I’m having fun. There are no real bad runs when you go out there and run. Every run is different and every run should teach you something. So forgive yourself for that “bad run” and enjoy the process. At the end of the day just have fun!!
About two months ago I called my wife excited about getting her a Camelpak bag for hydration on her runs. I’m like Babe, “I’m going to get you a Camelpak bag. Ok?” She says, “Why now? The long training runs for the marathon are going to be in the summer. But if you can get me this cute running top in yellow that would be great!!!” They didn’t have the top so I ended up just leaving the store. The trainer in me knew why I wanted to get her the hydration bag. I knew that she gets too hot on long runs and gets thirsty. As a result, she starts slowing down. I should have explained this but I wanted her to feel in control of her training, so I didn’t push it.
Two months later this bites me in the ass. Today while getting ready for a 10 mile run in really cold weather, I asked my wife if she was taking water. She says, “Yes bring me a small water bottle.” I knew this was going to be a problem and I pushed for her to get more but she thought it was going to be fine taking one water bottle. I was like, “Ok!” In my mind I told myself, “some will learn the hard way”. As a Coach there is so much you can tell your athlete. Sometimes your athlete thinks their way is going to work when you know is not.
So my wife has an awesome run for the first 5 miles which were not easy because of the head winds. We all were dealing with the elements but we toughed it out! So I finish my run and I’m waiting for the group to finish one by one. I see my wife in the distance so I run to get closer to get a good picture of her and what do I get? I get the middle finger!!! In front of everyone. I’m like what??? Mind you, the people in my Team are like family but I was not comfortable with what she did. For a split second I was like should I flip the hell out here! But I had to figure out why she did this. And I got it right away: She didn’t have enough water and as a result she didn’t do as well. She also wanted me there to help and because I’m the Coach! The Coach is always to blame for any negative performance by the athlete. So I had to step back and tell myself she is my athlete and not take it personally but I had to address it right away in front of the Team.
I told the Team we are all here to learn. The long training runs are for you to learn what you need or don’t need to first complete the run and second to do better than your previous run. There is a constant battle in your mind, body and soul when you run long distances. Your body wants to stop, go faster, you question your ability, you feel happy you’re running, you feel good that you are running faster than someone else or you feel bad when you are running slower than somebody else. Again my point is that in the end you have to cover the distance all by yourself. The group makes it easier but you still have to do the work. Thank God the team got it! Especially my wife because like I said in my previous blog: “I don’t want her upset because at the end of the day I have to sleep next to her”. Some of the team members even admitted to wanting to give me or someone else in the team the finger because they felt frustrated with their personal performance. But it was this need to get better and the encouragement of others that brought them back.
My wife apologized sincerely about what she did!! She only wanted me to be right there next to her when she was struggling. The positive side was that she knows I’m always there, she knows she needs more water and we all had a good laugh from this!! Today’s run was an awesome run and tomorrow I’m going to get her that Camelpak LOL!!
My purpose as a trainer is not make my wife into an elite athlete runner or super runner over night. My purpose is to help her improve her running time at a realistic pace. This way she doesn’t get hurt and is able to do this year’s TCS NYC Marathon. This will be her second NYC Marathon. The first one didn’t go so well in part because like many first time marathoners, she did too much and not enough of the things I told her. I didn’t interfere too much in her training at that time because I felt she wanted to do it by herself. So I learned a lot on how to approach my wife about giving her advice on training. Number one you have to be very patient and second very loving and understanding! This is not your regular client. You sleep next to this person so you want them to be very happy LOL!!
Leading up to the marathon she had IT Band syndrome and during the marathon she had a serious episode of plantar fasciitis. She ended up finishing the Marathon in 6 hours. The plan is to improve her time without having those issues during her training. So far we are on point. Number one I’m guiding her in all aspects of her training. This includes strength training, quality group runs and recovery thru self myofascial release. Today’s run of 7 miles of hills thru the Palisades went great! She is running more consistently. Not running more but again her runs are quality runs. Her runs emphasize running technique that work on staying taller, shoulders back and core. This is to provide fluidity and unison thru out the body to run longer and faster.
Very proud of my wife for taking on this journey again, especially after almost dying a year after her first marathon. She broke her neck in the summer of 2011 on a day trip to the beach. She was blessed to survive! Her surgeon said part of her surviving was because she was physically fit. The surgeon fused her C4 & C5. It was tough for the family but she is so amazing that 6 months I ran a half marathon with her. It was her way to thank God she was a live and walking. It was tough but she did it! My wife has the heart of an angel and the determination of a Lioness! The journey continues to NYC Marathon. First challenge is on Feb. 2nd where Team Wilpower will be running The Miami Half Marathon.
Life challenges us in many ways but if we stay strong and together, I believe all goals can be conquer.
A month ago, I was asked to try a new endurance sports nutrition product, EnduroPacks. They’re a supplement company that claims to help athletes recover faster from their workouts. What any athlete is looking for in a sports nutrition product is how fast it can help them recover, and is it easy to take.
I decided to try Enduropacks products after completing the New York City Marathon. After a Marathon I usually take a couple of weeks off from running to let my body heal and recover. I decided that my way of testing Enduropacks claims of, “helping athletes recover faster”, was by getting back to running again with minimal rest. I’m in training now for the Miami Half Marathon so this is the perfect test.
For my first long run I went out and ran 10 miles. A week after a marathon I normally wouldn’t do this, I usually build up slowly again to let my body recover. The run was good and challenging because of the hills in my neighborhood. Once I finished the workout I put on the Enduropack Essential Amino Acid Patch. That night I took the Glutamine Recovery Complex pills before going to bed. In the morning I took the Liquid Multivitamin before heading out to do my next workout. I was so surprised that I wasn’t sore from the previous days 10 mile run! For sure I thought I was going to be sore and not be able to workout but this was not the case.
I went out for another long run (8 miles) with no problem. I repeated the process of applying the Enduropacks Essential Amino Acid Patch after my run, taking the Glutamine Recovery Complex pills before going to bed, and the Liquid Multivitamin in the morning when I woke up. The second day I thought for sure I wasn’t going to perform as well. I was proven wrong again. I couldn’t believe it! I did recover faster and I was able to reproduce the same intensity in another workout a lot sooner than I normally would be able.
My training for the Miami Half Marathon has been going great. I’m able to recover faster from my tempo runs and hill repeats, which allows me to be able to do the long runs with ease. Plus, I’m able to do some cross training with kickboxing, which I wouldn’t normally do, because I thought it was too hard on my body. Since my recovery time has improved I’m able to continue kickboxing at a high intensity between runs. Now I’m doing both without any problems and feeling great! What can I say, I found the perfect supplement! It’s easy to take and it helps me recover faster from my workouts. Enduropacks works for me 100% and can’t see myself training without it!
Wil_Power Fitness Running Coach/Marathoner
6th Degree Black Belt in Shotokan