Libby Dallas Rock N Roll

Mile 5 of the Dallas Half Marathon. If you can slow it down & have fun, races make great long training runs!

Recap of the Week: I realized in my post a week ago I was so focused on total weekly mileage, long run miles, and base-building that I failed to mention anything about at what pace I was going to do each run. I clarified that in my blog this week.

I was scheduled to do 27.1 miles this week through a planned half marathon on Sunday as my long run and 4 other runs during the week of 3-5 miles each. I ended up 0.9 miles under the intended total but with some motivators for workouts sprinkled in…

Online Communities Provide Motivation

While there are many great websites and applications for logging workouts and connecting with other runners, I do this through Dailymile. About a week ago, a March Madness Challenge started on their website. Through multiple rounds of both high mileage and speed challenges, they whittle away competitors to one male and one female winner. Here’s my progress on the challenge.

While I wasn’t the most conservative on my running in the last week as a result, this challenge ended up being a great motivator for getting in workouts. It was easier to get myself on the treadmill for 4.8 miles Tuesday while accruing miles in Round 1 of the challenge. Walking out the door Friday night for 4.2 miles was well-motivated knowing I need to race a 5K to record for Round 2.

I know I won’t end up winning this challenge. There are too many great fast, high-mileage runners that I’m competing against. But I found a challenge that was a good fit for pushing me to complete the distance.

Using Races as Training Runs

This Sunday was also the Dallas Half Marathon, and here’s my race report.

I love races as ways to get in a long run. I’m not great at motivating myself out of bed super early, planning out my fluid needs on a long run route, and running that many miles all alone. I’ll get it done but very reluctantly. However, a race entry fee and the promise to friends that I’ve committed to an event is extremely motivating. This tactic requires three things though:

1) you have the income to spare on entry fees,

2) you have the time available for that long run (race) plus expo/packet pickup plus travel to and from the event, and

3) you can treat it as a training run in terms of pacing and mental approach.

#3 here is crucial. Therefore, this is not a great strategy for many very competitive runners (whether competitive with themselves or others). My plan for this race was to do a 12:45 pace (long run style easy pace) until about mile 10, and then I would allow myself to race the last 5K. What a great compromise! It worked like a charm, and I have a 13.1 miles training run in the bag, with a final overall pace of 12:30.

This source of motivation for long runs will continue for me as I have races the next two weeks to fulfill the demands of the training schedule. And yes, I will continue to run easy at those races!

Motivation is a huge component to any major training schedule – you have to get those workouts in to get to the start line injury-free and make it to the finish line strong. So even if these methods aren’t your cup of tea, let this week’s post just serve as a reminder to find what motivates you and seek out those sources wherever and whenever you can!

Next Up: 26.5 miles this week with Hells Hills 25K on Saturday. I pulled the mileage down a little for this week when I designed the training plan because this will be my first 25K trail race, and I want to not put too much stress on my body this week.


Libby Jones has been running for 5 years, is a self-described “serial half-marathoner”, but has never attempted the marathon distance. She is also an active part of the Dallas-Fort Worth running community.  She is the Founder and Race Director of the New Year’s Day Half Marathon in Allen, Texas; the Executive Race Director for Heels and Hills, a non-profit geared towards getting women fit and active; the North Texas State Representative for the Road Runners Club of America; past Dallas Running Club President & 2008 RRCA Scott Hamilton National Outstanding Club President Award Winner; and an RRCA-certified running coach. She’s also a wife to Steve and a mother to Marissa (3 yrs) and Sophie (3 1/2 months).  Read her blog “The Active Joe” and follow her on Twitter @libbyruns