Day 1: RECOGNIZE Where You Are (Run Faster Without Pushing Harder Challenge)

Sign up for the 5 Day Challenge here!

Welcome to Day 1 of your 5 day running challenge!  Congratulations on taking this step away from that cycle of frustration and moving towards improving your running and becoming the real life runner that you want to be!

As working parents of 2 girls, Kevin and I understand what it's like to try to fit your training into your already busy lifestyle, let alone try to make and follow a plan to improve.  It can all feel very overwhelming sometimes.  If you're like a lot of runners we work with, you know you want to achieve your running goals, but you just aren't sure how to get there.  

But if we're being honest, we didn't always have this figured out.  

We both used to live by the "no pain, no gain" mentality, working out everyday, eating "clean", going to bed late and getting up early to train.  We thought we were doing the right things, until it all came crashing down.  For me, it was a back injury that left me unable to pick up my kids or be the mom I wanted to be. For Kevin, it was a series of 3 seizures that the doctors couldn't explain.  Our bodies were failing us, and we weren't sure why.

It was then that we decided there had to be a better way.  We realized that being fit is not the same thing as being healthy, so we had to figure out a way to support both.  Our running and fitness were important to us, but not at the expense of our overall health. 

So how could we support our overall health while still chasing our running goals?   We realized that we had to personalize our plans, in a way that was right for each of us as individuals. I needed a plan that was right for ME, MY body, MY goals, and MY lifestyle, and Kevin needed a different plan that was right for HIM.  

We stopped doing all of the things that we were "supposed" to do, and instead figured out what was right for each of us.  We created our own individual plans, that included things other than just running, to help us get stronger and healthier, and become faster runners in the process.  

This is what we are going to show you this week.  Over the next 5 days, we will do this by helping you to understand how to train with purpose and prioritize the things that will actually move you forward.  We will help you understand how to listen to your body, how to assess where you are right now, and how you can customize a plan for YOU to move forward and achieve YOUR goals!

We've helped hundreds of runners transform from frustrated runners struggling to achieve their goals into strong and confident Real Life Runners, in charge of their running and their life, and we are excited to help you this week to get there too!

So on to Day 1! 

Focus of the Day: RECOGNIZE

Today, it's all about RECOGNIZING where you are and what has gotten you to this point right now. The mistake that a lot of runners make is not knowing their current level of fitness and setting goals with the wrong timeline, which leads them to take on a training load that they’re not ready for.  This can lead to injury, constantly feeling sore or achy, runs not feeling good, inconsistency, and lack of motivation because you are training at a level above what you are currently capable of.  You need to know where you are, so you can make a plan that works for you now that will allow you to move forward without getting derailed.

Remember, where you are now is a result of the choices you have made to this point.  There's nothing good or bad about this place, it's just where you are starting from right now. This is just about awareness. Try not to judge yourself here.  You're here for a reason, and the goal is to move forward.  We have to know where you are so we can move ahead.  

Download the action guide by clicking the button below, or grab a separate sheet of paper and answer these questions.

Download your Action Guide here

  1. Perform a Run Test: To begin, warm up with a walk or light jog for 5-10 minutes. Feel free to do a little stretching or anything else you need to do to get your body ready for the test. To perform the test, you are going to run for 10 minutes at a moderate to hard effort (think racing a 5k). At the end of the 10 minutes, record the distance you were able to run. If you don’t have a GPS watch, you have 2 options: 1. Download a free running app onto your phone that can record the distance of your run (there are a lot out there, and you can choose any that you wish. If you would like a suggestion, Runkeeper, Strava, and MapMyRun are some of the more popular apps). 2. Map out a route around your neighborhood and see how many loops you can do in the 10 minutes. 
  2. Write down the results of your run test. How long were you able to run? How did you feel during your run? Did you have to walk? If so, how many times? 
  3. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being super duper easy and 10 being super duper hard, how hard did you push yourself on your run today? Rate your effort level.
  4. Describe where you currently are in your running right now and the results you have achieved.  Write down anything that will help paint the picture of where you are right now (ie. how often do you run, how far can you run, your current weekly mileage, your personal records, how long can you run without needing to walk, your current weekly long run, any injuries or setbacks that you're currently experiencing, etc).  
  5. If you could wave a magic wand, what would your running look like?  What would you be doing? What goals would you have achieved?
  6. How will you feel if you achieve your goal? What will you believe about yourself and your running? 
  7. How will achieving this goal positively affect other areas of your life? 


Take some time with these questions and really think about where you want to go and what it will be like.  

Remember, if you do just one thing this week that you wouldn't have done without this challenge, that's a win!  If you could start to transform your running and your life in 5 days, wouldn’t you want to? 

 Let’s do this!