So what makes for a good run?

I feel like lately my runs have either been great or crappy with no average runs in the mix.  And I don’t want to jinx myself here (prob. just did… ) but my last couple of runs have felt pretty great.  Last night’s run started off with horrible stomach cramps (I guess that happens when you have too much fiber late in the day (such a rookie mistake)) but by the third mile the pain subsided and I started to really enjoy the run.  I even pushed out my 7 miler into an 8 mile run with my last mile at a 7:46 pace.  And this afternoon I went out for a nice 3 miler and then did a yoga workout right after.  But just a few weeks ago, it felt like every run I went on sucked ass.  I think I even went a couple weeks before actually looking forward to my next run?

Like I just said, I’m not an expert by any means and still have crappy runs all the time but here’s what usually makes for a good run:

1) My playlist.  I’ve talked about music in previous posts, but it really does have a major impact on my runs.  Last night I jammed out to a 90’s Hip-Hop station and this afternoon I went with my girl Rihanna on Pandora.  How can you not push it when you have fun, upbeat music blaring away?

2) A running partner.  Running + chatting away with a friend = awesomeness!  Mike and I don’t run together often but when we do it’s always a good time.  Not only is he a good distraction from the mundane run, but he also starts out on the slower side and really picks up the pace which motivates me to keep up.

3) A good nights sleep.  So, I kinda suck at sleeping.  But on the days when I do get a good nights sleep, I have so much more will-power and I’m less likely to bail on a run.  I also have more energy and actually want to go out for a run!

4) When there’s little or no pressure.  If I tell myself I’m just gonna go with it and not worry about my pace or distance then I usually have a better run.  I leave any and all expectations at the door and just run!  

5) What I eat (or don’t eat) before the run.  I try not to eat anything for at least 2 hours before a run in order to prevent stomach cramps (and urgent bathroom breaks… ).  On mornings when I have a long run (over 10 miles) then I usually set my alarm for an hour before the run and eat a small granola bar asap.  I then fuel up during the run with energy gu’s for more calories.

And lastly…..  

6) The weather! 

This might be the biggest factor of whether I have a good run or not.  If it’s overcast and cool outside then I know my run will be a good one.  And if it’s drizzling out, then my run will be even better!  But on the flip side, I suck at running in the heat & humidity.  Seriously, I’d rather skip a run than workout in the soaring heat.   So in order to avoid the sun/heat/humidity, I make sure to check the weather forecast before planning out my workouts for the week.

_ _ _ _ _

And on another note, I’m trying to eat no carbs (except alchi) after 2pm.  Why?  Well, because I’ve been overdosing on carbs and feeling super bloated/ tired the next day.  I haven’t been following my new ‘no carbs after 2pm’ rule every day but it’s always my end goal. :)   A typical dinner consists of  a meat/chicken/fish and grilled veggies so it’s really not that bad.  

Last night’s dinner included a turkey burger with cheese and grilled mushrooms and asparagus on the side.  And tonight’s dinner with will include turkey kabobs with grilled cauliflower, tomatoes, and zucchini.  Heck ya! :)

_ _ _ _ _

What makes for a good run for you? 

Do you eat carbs at night?  

Any fun plans for Labor Day Weekend?

-I’m heading to the Cape bright & early tomorrow for a beach filled weekend.  Then I have a 16 miler on Monday morning!

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Comments

  1. Getting enough sleep and entertainment (music or friends) are crucial for me. Also I need to make sure I’ve been stretching and not overdoing it or my next run will be out of whack. I plan to do a run or two in the mountains this weekend so hopefully I follow my advice :)

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