Running with Gratitude

I just finished reading Deena Kastor’s book, Let Your Mind Run (which I highly recommend… it’s a great book). In her book, Deena spoke about how gratitude transformed her mind and running. Inspired by this reading, I wanted to share a simple gratitude practice to help you improve your mental and physical training this week. This is an excellent practice for runners but, more importantly, it is an excellent practice for people. Focusing on gratitude can improve mood, focus, and energy.


This practice is simple which is partly what makes it so beautiful. Using the list below for each day this week, identify five things that you are grateful for each day. You can form this list throughout your day or solely focus on it at the end of your day. Challenge yourself to identify things that are different from what you noted on your gratitude list the day before. Utilize the follow-up questions to record other important observations about yourself and this activity.


Gratitude List

I am grateful for:

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

Follow-up questions:

  • Was this activity challenging or easy today?
  • What did I notice about my thinking today?
  • Did this activity affect my thinking?
  • Did this activity affect my behaviors/ performance?
  • Are there any other observations that I want to note pertaining to my thinking, behaviors, or this activity today?

March Mental Training

“Running is 80% mental.”  – Joan Benoit


3 Tips to Improve Your Running Today

  • Celebrate your successes. By bringing your attention to your successes, you can improve confidence. Runners who are more confident take greater risks and, as a result, can experience greater accomplishments.
  • Practice mindfulness. Practicing mindfulness can promote greater mental control leading to improved focus during running training and racing. Practicing mindfulness can also help you to identify and change unhelpful thinking that is getting in the way of your running performance.
  • Focus on your goals. Remember what you are working towards. By focusing on the “why” to your training, you can draw upon additional motivation to fuel your workout today.

For running coaching that addresses both mental & physical training, please visit: https://elevaterunning.org

For more information on how you can improve your mental training to enhance your running, check out Run Your Mind Training Workbook below.


Run Your Mind Training Workbook

This workbook is designed to both introduce you to general concepts in sport psychology and to help you to implement psychology techniques to improve your running performance. Throughout this workbook, you will focus on enhancing your goal development, motivation, mental toughness, confidence, concentration, and energy management. This workbook contains some information about caring for the body including yoga practices to supplement your running training. This workbook also contains several sample training plans and a training journal section in which you will be able to integrate the information that you have learned throughout this workbook into your training.

To purchase this book, please visit: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1793032904


Other Resources

Mindfulness Resources

  • Online Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction: This is a free online training course based on the program founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn. https://palousemindfulness.com/index.html
  • Jack Kornfield has excellent resources available on his website. https://jackkornfield.com/ His book Meditation for Beginners is wonderful for meditators of all levels.
  • Shauna Shapiro is an expert on mindfulness. She has done numerous talks and interviews which can be found on youtube. Additional resources can be found on her website. http://www.drshaunashapiro.com/

Serenity Cards

These cards will support your mental training by utilizing a variety of techniques from psychology and yoga to improve mood, boost energy, promote relaxation, increase positive thinking, and enhance focus. To view and purchase these cards, visit: https://www.printerstudio.com/sell/designs/serenity-cards.html


Mindset for Greatness Cards

A collection of inspiring quotes designed for runners to promote a mindset for greatness. To view and purchase these cards, visit: https://www.printerstudio.com/sell/designs/mindset-for-greatness.html


Run Your Mind Training Workbook by Julia Raffaini

New Release! Written by Elevate Running Founder, Julia Raffaini, this book was published yesterday.

Description

My intention for this workbook is to help runners become more successful by improving their mental training. This workbook is designed to both introduce you to general concepts in sport psychology and to help you to implement psychology techniques to improve your running performance. Throughout this workbook, you will focus on enhancing your goal development, motivation, mental toughness, confidence, concentration, and energy management. This workbook contains some information about caring for the body including yoga practices to supplement your running training. This workbook also contains several sample training plans and a training journal section in which you will be able to integrate the information that you have learned throughout this workbook into your training.

To purchase the workbook now, visit:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/1793032904

Pros and Cons of Running Training Services

Deciding to hire a running trainer/ coach is a big decision. It is a financial commitment, and you want to know that the training you’re paying for is a worthwhile investment. In this post, I go over some of the pros and cons of running training services. This post will also help you determine what to look for when selecting quality training services.


Pros

  • Following a customized training plan with effective training techniques designed to propel you towards your specific goals.
  • Increasing mileage and incorporating speed training in a safe manner.
  • Having someone that you check in with about your training to help you stay accountable.
  • Receiving mental training support can have a huge impact on your performance.
  • Being able to ask questions and problem solve with an experienced runner.
  • Building a running community.
  • Being able to access other running resources including strength training, nutritional guidance, and yoga routines to compliment your training.

Cons

  • Cost. Your time and money are valuable. The cost of training services can vary greatly depending on what you’re seeking. Some running training services provide standard training plans while others include customized training plans, weekly guidance from a trainer/ coach, and race strategy. Determining precisely what it is that you would benefit from and that you can afford is vital in selecting a service that you’re going to feel is a good investment for your time and money.
  • Training that damages your running performance. When selecting running training services, make sure that it is being provided by a certified running professional to ensure that your trainer/ coach has received appropriate running training.
  • Training that holds you back. While you don’t want to increase mileage and speed too quickly due to the risk of injury and burnout, you also don’t want to feel that your training is holding you back from your potential. It can be challenging finding a trainer/ coach that will safely push you, and that will monitor how you are doing throughout your training. Reflect on your goals and seek a trainer/ coach who will be able to help you to continue to grow in the long run (pun intended). All trainers/ coaches bring something a little different to offer and understanding their strengths and weaknesses will help you select the best services for you. Explore their website to understand their services and qualifications but also reach out to them with questions and check out their social media.

What do you look for in a running trainer/ coach? What kinds of services do you find most valuable?

Running During Pregnancy


When sitting down to write my first running blog post, there are so many topics that I am excited to write about. Since I am 36 weeks pregnant, pregnancy running seemed like a natural place to begin.


Disclaimer: Every body is different and its always important to consult your doctor before running during pregnancy. There are some conditions that could make running contraindicated and its really important that your doctor evaluate what is safe for your body. 


  • It is absolutely ok to continue to run during pregnancy as long as you already had a consistent running practice before becoming pregnant. In fact, physical exercise is important during pregnancy so if you decide not to run, choose another form of exercise to engage in throughout your pregnancy. Low impact activities such as yoga, cycling on a stationary bike, and swimming are highly recommended.
  • Pregnancy running is not a time to work towards PRs. Training should not include a significant increase in mileage or speed. It is important to keep an easy pace during your runs and to listen to your body.
  • I’ll say this again because it is so important: Listen to your body! As runners, sometimes we are more comfortable pushing our bodies without realizing that we are pushing our bodies. It is really important to continue to monitor how your body is feeling running throughout your pregnancy.
  • Maintain a comfortable temperature. Slow down or stop if you find yourself getting too hot.
  • Stay hydrated. It is easy to fall behind when it comes to hydration. Drink lots of fluids throughout the day and carry a water bottle with you on your runs. Early on in my pregnancy, I had a really hard time staying hydrated due to nausea. If this is the case for you, try to take small sips throughout the day, include an electrolyte drink, and/or make juice popsicles to enjoy when you just can’t stomach drinking your fluids. Also, sometimes herbal tea or juice was easier for me to get down and I encourage you to experiment to see what drinks work best for you.
  • Be aware of the warning signs: breathlessness, vaginal bleeding, cramping, muscle weakness, pain, chronic fatigue, and decreased fetal movement. If you experience any of these symptoms, stop exercise and contact your doctor immediately.
  • Balance shifts during pregnancy. Be sure to run routes that are flat and do not have obstacles that could increase fall risk. If you feel dizzy, stop. I felt most comfortable running on the treadmill farther into my pregnancy because I knew the route would be free from obstacles and I could stop the run at anytime if I started to feel fatigued.