Increase Your Effort

With a Spotlight on The World's Best World Bests

Earlier this week, I watched Carly do a high intensity running workout.  She mixed a half mile loop with strength training - jumping rope, lunges, and some overhead presses before she was off again running.

This is just something I would NOT do!

But it gave me motivation - and more importantly - inspiration to keep mixing up my workouts.  Since there aren’t any races in the near future (that I’m aware of or willing to participate in), I need to do everything possible to keep my motivation high.  We are all there. It’s winter, first off, and that definitely does not help… But there’s also not much to look foward to (racing-wise).  

So I am taking a book out of Carly’s page and vowing to mix up my workouts - both with my running and my strength training.

Here are some things I’m going to do to keep my motivation up (and you can and should do the same!).

  • Opt to run in a new location (or simply start in a new locale).

  • Run for time or distance instead of pace.

  • Hold virtual challenges/races with friends - I see you John - who else is in?  You can pick the distance, time, etc and I’ll set it up!

  • Try a new workout. Here are some I know I don’t do enough of: yoga, Olympic lifting, cycling, HIIT.

I know that these uncertain times will eventually pass, but in the meantime, I sometimes feel like “what’s the point?” when it’s 6 am, pitch black and I’m doing hill repeats.  Ya know?  If there aren’t races to be run, what am I doing to myself?  But at the end of the day, I truly love to run, not just race, and so even though there aren’t in-person races to run, you can still find me lacing up for another run.

And while even my motivation and momentum sometimes dwindles, I don’t want everyone else to also focus on the fun parts of running.  I urge you to find something to help keep the spark going until we can get back to a normal-ish running lifestyle.

Friday’s Action Plan:

Use fartlek and effort paced workouts to keep your workouts light and fun.

What’s Got My Attention:

Video: New Years Eve Fartlek Session with Drew Hunter

Article: Nick Willis Sets World Record by Breaking 4:00 in the Mile for 19th Straight Year

Popular Articles on the Blog this Week:

Threshold Running Explained

Keeping a Training Log

The Running Shoe Buying Process

Popular Newsletter Sessions:

Middle of the Road - Dec 2020

Get Your Sleep - Jan 2020

Quote of the Day:

“Once you have commitment, you need the discipline and hard work to get you there.” - Haile Gebrselassie

List of the Week:

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Thanks for following along on the journey! Have something you’d like to add? Have suggestions or comments? Email me:

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Marc is a middle school teacher and coach but also works with distance runners online. I help distance runners around the globe by providing support, writing customized training plans, and designing workouts to help them reach their racing goals. I write for my blog every Wednesday morning and newsletter every Friday morning.