10 Ways I went from 2:59–> 2:49 in a year.

I’ve had a few requests for a post about some of the things that I really think helped me to get a 10 minute (well, 9:55) pr over the last year so here they are:

Cake Weight Loss

*I started running with faster people.  Honestly, I think that alone would have brought a massive PR because it made such a big difference for me.  There is nothing to be afraid of, they will cheer you on and try to help you (and if they are rude then you don’t want to be around them anyways ha and you can find other faster people).  They will encourage you to try more, you will have someone to focus on ahead of you to catch and you will be less likely to quit because you see them hurting and not quitting too.

*COACH COACH COACH COACH COACH COACH.  If you want to get faster… please get a coach.  I can’t recommend it enough.  Online training plans are awesome but having a coach to make things more personal for you makes a big difference.  I think having a good coach will take you to your dream times.  They are expensive but if you can find some things to sacrifice during your training (ie eating out or Netflix or shopping etc) it will pay off with a PR.  I truly believe my coach took me to a level I didn’t know was possible and I’m so thankful for that.

*I ran an ultra.  I remember a few of you telling me that my ultra would bring a fast fall marathon and I didn’t quite understand how that would translate over and now I do.  The training for my ultra brought quite the base for endurance and mentally, it made 26.2 miles sound a whole lot easier than 50 miles😉.

*I didn’t stop the mental training.  At one point leading up to St. George this year I told myself that life was too crazy to jump back into my mental training.  I had done a ton of mental training for my 2:59 and I thought that was good enough.  Nope, I feel like that kind of stuff expires if we don’t stay up to date on it.  It’s like brushing our teeth… we can’t just do it all on Monday and forget about it the rest of the week.  We need to work on it daily with small changes in the way we think about ourselves and our running!  Get the Strong journal, this book, this book and this book.  Listen to every episode possible from sports psychologists like this one and this one.  DO THE MENTAL WORK.


*I trusted the process more than I ever have… which resulted in a lot of time outside of my comfort zone.   This meant racing a lot of 10ks (which my body hates), trying new workouts that I had never done before (which is scary for my brain), doing a carbohydrate depletion (which is my definition of heck) and much more.  The process works so if we can just get outside of what we think will feel nice and safe and do the scary stuff… we will reach our goals!

*I really think these time barriers that we put on ourselves are all mental!  Once we break them (ie the 4 hour marathon, 2 hour half-marathon, 90 minute half-marathon etc etc etc) we just keep breaking them more and more.  We have proven to ourselves that we can do it before so we don’t let that number hold us back like it has in the past.  Maybe we aren’t even in that much better shape but mentally our brain stops holding us back again.


*I prioritized sleep more than I ever have in my entire life.  I know that isn’t possible for everyone but I really think it helped me.  I said goodbye to TV for a while, I didn’t look at my phone after 8 pm most nights and I just got in bed early.  I can’t imagine doing some of the workouts we did without a lot of sleep!

*I raced a whole lot.  I did more races leading up to this race than ever before.  Races help me to run faster in training (ie I push myself more in a race workout than on a workout without a race) and the more I do, the less nervous I am for the big race I am training for.  The smaller races are the best dress rehearsals and the best way to figure out all of your nutrition.


*WORK TOGETHER WITH PEOPLE IN A RACE.  This was all brand new to me for my 2:49.  Never had I raced with someone the entire time (we were together for 99% of the race).  I cannot believe the difference it made.  Thinking about how she was doing (how her knee was feeling, how her fueling was going, how her breathing was etc) helped me to think less about the hard things I was feeling.  Her being strong when I was feeling weak kept me chasing after her.  Even the random guy that ran most of the race with us was super helpful because TEAMWORK DOES MAKE THE DREAM WORK.


*Trails trails trails.  I ran more trails for this training cycle than ever before.  My coach had us on the trails the day after almost every single speed workout.  The dirt is great for injury prevention and they cause you to slow down (all of the UP) and use different muscles BUT they make you so much stronger.   Going up on the trails the day after a speed workout really made me a lot stronger.   Hopefully we can get in a few more this year before it starts snowing.

PS reminder—> I’ve been marathon training for almost 10 years!  It takes time for some of these goals to come around so don’t give up.  Consistency IS EVERYTHING.  PPS the stars all magically aligned a few weeks ago.  Every race is not going to be a PR even if our training is spot on.

QUESTION—> Would anyone like a post where I combine all of the training for this last training cycle (ie the Sunday running summaries that I posted each week) that I did for this marathon into one place?


And just a few pictures from our Sunday.

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They are thrilled about all of the leaves on the ground… Andrew isn’t quite as thrilled.

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Yes, I was very happy about this.

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We went over to my sister’s house for dinner.

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We had leftover Cafe Rio from my brother-in-law’s work party the day before and it was heavenly!

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Cornflakes in cookies…

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Are amazing.  I used this recipe!

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Today is the last day to enter my running shoe giveaway here!

I am posting YOUR finish line stories tomorrow (all of the goosebumps reading them so far) so if you want to send in your story to share then sent them to —> finishlinestories@gmail.com


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Read more: hungryrunnergirl.com

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