Run Happy, Run Better

5. Train your way.

The more you’re able to enjoy a race, the better you’re likely to perform. Likewise, the more you enjoy the entire training process, the more improvement you’re likely to derive from it. There is more than one way to train for races. Don’t feel obligated to train in a certain way. Free yourself to train in the way you most enjoy. If you hate running around a track, don’t. If you love running up mountains, do it often. You’ll invest more in workouts you enjoy and thus get more out of them.

On the other hand, your training approach should not be completely self-indulgent. You need to face your fears and tackle some of your least favorite workouts in training or else you won’t be fully prepared to tackle the challenge of racing. In an interview, Kara Goucher said, “I would say once if not twice a week I get really nervous [for workouts].” While unpleasant, that anxiety is a good thing, because completing workouts that are hard enough to make Goucher nervous beforehand makes her less fearful in races. “I can look back and to ask myself to run a PR doesn’t seem scary because I’ve proven to myself now consistently that I’m ready to do that,” she said.

Follow Goucher’s example and scare yourself a little in training so you’re less scared when the start horn sounds.


About The Author:

Matt Fitzgerald is the author of RUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel (VeloPress, 2010) and an expert training content developer for PEAR Sports. Learn more at

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