It’s All About The Kick

By Malindi Elmore

This is one of my favorite videos of a race I won with a kick – a skill that I practiced through training, visualizing, and race strategy.

Let’s be honest, races are meant for winning! Yes, there are all sorts of other tangible goals a runner can have such as running personal bests, setting records, advancing through rounds, etc, but if you win every race the rest will fall into place. Unfortunately, I think many young runners sell themselves short of winning the race, and try to make their goals too complicated and too reliant on a very specific and narrow time goal.

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Cross Training: But Does It Really Work For Running?

IMG_0142[Parts one, two and three of Malindi’s four-part series on “How To Become A Faster Runner Through Cross Training” can be found herehere and here.]

By Malindi Elmore

When I was a “pure runner” who supplemented cross training in times of injury or for the purposes of injury prevention, I was very skeptical of the benefits, and rightly so, because I was not doing it properly!

What I have tried to convey in my previous posts is that cross training should be approached as actual training. It should also be structured and goal-oriented, just like your running. Doing an easy 30-minute spin session with your heart rate barely above resting does not qualify as cross training; nor does going at a frantic heart-bursting intensity.

Part 3: How To Do A Swim Workout

By Malindi ElmoreIMG_0068

[Parts 1 and 2 of Malindi’s four-part series on “How To Become A Faster Runner Through Cross Training” can be found here and here.]

Instead of going for a long/slow swim you’ll get more out of your workout at threshold effort. This translates into improved swimming and also makes sure you are working hard enough to benefit your running fitness.

How Swimming Can Make You A Faster Runner

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[Editor’s note:  Part 1 of Malindi’s four-part series on “How To Become A Faster Runner Through Cross Training” can be found here.]

By Malindi Elmore

Why do so many runners hate cross training? We are very goal-oriented and we revel in measurable data. We like to know how far and how fast we ran. Cross training puts us in a foreign situation where often the data is less quantifiable, and we do not have a reference point for our progress. This is why I strongly suggest having a purpose and goals for your non-running endurance training activities and not just approaching it in a haphazard way.

Part I: How To Become A Faster Runner Through Cross Training

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By Malindi Elmore

Why do so many runners loath cross training? I know that I was firmly in the I-hate-cross-training camp for too many years. I think it is a combination of factors that result in this hatred for something that is beneficial to your running. Over the course of my 20-year career as a runner I have had more experience cross training than I care to count – 6 major injuries, pregnancy and a transition to being a multi-sport athlete has required that I sweat out hours aqua-jogging, biking, swimming, etc.

Burned

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Marimac in red after winning TN State XC team title.

[Editor’s note from coach Malindi Elmore]:  

One of the most rewarding aspects of being a Run SMART coach are the relationships I build with interesting and talented people. I started working with my track coach when I was 14 and, except for my years at university, he remained my coach for the duration of my career – twenty years this year! One of the reasons we’ve been able to work together effectively was because he truly cared about me as a person and supported my other interests and talents. I was a person, not just a runner.

Becoming Mentally Strong Through Your ABCs

By Malindi Elmore

I am currently coaching a young runner who is very motivated to run fast this spring, but with her goals comes anxiety, doubt and concerns about her ability. We all know that physical preparation is only part of performing and that much of it comes down to our mental fortitude; but the body is often much easier to train than the mind. Pressure to stay motivated and focused on goals is a good thing; however, fear, dread, anxiety, etc. get in the way of top performances and therefore needs to be addressed.  

The Four Day Rule: Dealing with the Pesky Winter Cold

By Malindi Elmore

It’s going around and I fell victim earlier this week. It is inevitable that at some point we all get a virus. But while a common winter cold does not sound like a big deal, it somehow is more tiring, painful and disruptive to life than I often remember. Since the common cold is not the flu, bronchitis, or pneumonia, I often fail to give it the respect it deserves. Instead of rest, I soldier on, stubbornly sticking to my training plans and life commitments all while feeling miserable and not really benefiting from my “dedication”. And I know I am not alone!

Is Training An Art Or A Science?

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By Malindi Elmore

I believe that there is “more than one way to skin a cat” when it comes to training programs. Certain key principles, such as consistency, health and variety are staples to a strong program but the specifics can vary dramatically from one program to another.

A Runner’s Best Friend: Not Your Dog But Your Training Log

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By Malindi Elmore

I think that one of the most motivating pieces of equipment a runner can own is a training log. I have been keeping some version of a logbook for at least 20 years and they are all neatly stacked on my bookcase in my office. Sometimes when I need a trip down memory lane I pull them out to reminisce. Thousands of workouts, races, runs, weight sessions and pieces of my heart are stored in the pages of my training logs; often with insightful comments which allow me to re-live the moments long after my memory has faded. If it were not for the editorials alongside my training logbook how would I remember how brutally gut-wrenching and rewarding some of my training sessions and races truly were?

Aside from helping to re-live great workouts and races in excruciating detail, a training log serves a number of purposes for me, and as such is something that I recommend every runner include as part of their “training”.