When we lived up in Oregon, Oregon State’s Head Women’s XC/Track Coach, Kelly Sullivan, used to constantly stress to the girls about “doing the little things”, that make a big difference. As Conor and I call it, it’s crossing your t’s and dotting your i’s. I’m not the most talented runner out there (nor am I the luckiest, unfortunately!), so I know I have to do everything right to perform at my best.
I remember ~5-6 years ago, reading an interview with Jen Rhines where she talked about how they had scoped out a marathon course, the conditions, and tried to mimic every detail in training. That left a huge impression on me! Also, when I ran my first US Championship in 2006, I remember how serious (and fit!) everyone looked. I knew I needed to get my act together and be methodical about every tiniest detail if I wanted to be competitive at the National level (and beyond). Professional athletics is serious business! If you want to be the best, you have to “function like a clock”, being routine and planning everything out. If you get consistent and in a routine, that’s when the “magic” starts to happen!
I want to share all the “little things” I personally do and why I do them. This might be even more intriguing to people than my training, as I’m very methodical and scientific with everything I do. I believe in doing things that are scientifically supported. I don’t have the talent of the Africans, but what I do have is a brain and a few college degrees! I believe “knowledge is power”, and if Americans want to be competitive at the World level, we not only need to be bold, brave, and endure A LOT of pain, but also use the resources and knowledge we have at our discretion. “Doing the little things” is how we earned two Olympic medals in 2004, which you can read about in one of my favorite all-time articles: Special Ks
- Strength training (free weights/body weight with arms)
- How to foam and lacrosse ball roll the critical body parts
- Body testing and new lower and core body strength and conditioning program
- Dynamic Flexibility and drills
- Iron Supplementation
- B Vitamins: Nutrients you need and might be missing
- Slowing down the easy days… to train and race faster
- Heat training
- Heart rate training and HR based progression runs
- Massage Therapist and Dietician
- Protect and moisturize your skin
- High altitude training and altitude tent
- Do Ice Baths/Icing really “work”?
- Pepper spray, self-defense, and safety
- Fueling and Hydration for the marathon
- Why it’s Ok to drink [powdered] Gatorade/Endurance Formula during a marathon
- Post-marathon recovery tips
- Post-run recovery foods and beverages
- Compression socks/garments and pneumatic medicine
- 12 Great Winter Must-Haves
- NSAIDs, COX-2 inhibitors, and corticosteroids hinder bone and soft tissue healing and recovery
- Extra Vit. D, esp. in the winter
- Living in a crappy motel to achieve the A standard and finding a place of inspiration
- Professional runner=professional traveler too
- Marathoning in the rain
- How to make screw shoes
- My mindset while training/racing: Zen of running and words of wisdom from Frank Shorter
- Setting goals for the next 4 years
- Comparing gender times in the marathon, World and American- Excel spreadsheet
- Stats comparison of men’s and women’s marathon times- Explanation
- More to come….
- I appreciate donations for my free advice! I write with my heart and desire to help others. Your contribution will help cover my running-related expenses as a full-time professional runner. Thank you!