Monday, May 13, 2013

A New Beginning

         It is very exciting to start a new training cycle and set new goals. I will be working with my new coach Brett Schumacher. Before I look ahead into the future it is important to reflect upon my experiences of the past and what I have learned.  
       I improved myself as a runner by understanding what I need.  I use to obsess about missing a key workout. You may know the feeling, if I did not do or hit all the times and paces in the training plan then I felt I would not reach my goal. I thought I would be missing a very important piece and therefore the training would be ruined and I would not reach my goal. I now understand that even if you do every workout and hit your times it may not matter if you disregard or try to “train though” an injury that keeps you from toeing the start line of your goal race. After all, if you do not make it to the starting line then training will not matter. My former coach taught me that I could run fewer miles over an abbreviated training period and still hit my marathon goal time. 
       I have also learned that treating my warm up and cool down exercises as optional is very counter-productive. I now know that these exercises/drills that are specific to physical imbalances and weaknesses are very important. They will help keep you injury free and running stronger and faster. Pre- and post-workout drills help keep your form in check and body strong.    
       Finally, body awareness during workouts and races can help you improve both!  Yep, being aware of what is happening with your body during a race can improve your efficiency and your time. Is your chin down? Are your glutes engaged? Are your shoulders up or down, are your arms up around your chest or swinging freely?  Is your jaw relaxed and breathing controlled? All of these things help your body move together and flow more efficiently, which saves energy.    
      After all that I've learned, you might wonder why I have decided change coaches? Communication and coaching experience are the two main reasons. Since I was the first person he has ever coached I felt I needed a person with experience coaching.  He has helped me out more with his chiropractic knowledge than as a coach. The second issue was his growing lack of communication with me.  He was just not explaining what he needed in order to coach me and rather than speaking up he decided to spend less effort on my training plans. So, I decided to move in another direction.
      Now, after a little time off to reflect on my situation, I have solidified my new goals – running a sub-2:43:00 marathon and participating in the Olympic Trials – and  I have turned to Brett to help me achieve them. With my eyes on these big goals I know I must take my training to a new level. I am excited to be working with Brett and for him to help me make my weaknesses my strengths.


  1. I just started following your blog and you are truly an inspiration! I was curious if you had a blog written specifically about what works for you pre and post workout as far as your warm-up/cool-down routine?

  2. Thanks for your feedback Lauren. I have not written a post about pre and post workout yet. I will start to work on that one soon. Thanks for the suggestion.