Community Training Hard to Run Hard: The HOKA Marathon Training Chronicles (win shoes!!!)

    Training Hard to Run Hard: The HOKA Marathon Training Chronicles (win shoes!!!)

    I’m T-minus a little over 8 weeks to go until TCS Waterfront Marathon!
    I’m training consistently hard for HOKA with my biggest mileage yet (135 last week!) and things are coming together. My fitness is improving; HR is going down and marathon pace is feeling more comfortably strong. I’m not looking for this marathon to be enjoyable . . . I’m training hard to run hard during the race!
    I’ve got a time in my mind and I’m working on taking that risk out there and that means showing up every day to my practice ready to train. I’m not going to lie, there’s some days I’d really like to stay in bed, but like we know consistency is key in long distance running. Some days I have to put my music on loud as I’m getting ready to pump myself up or spray myself with some beautiful smelling perfume (lol, not kidding) to get out the door with some pep.
    Even though I may be dragging myself out the door, I know I will 100% feel better after it’s done. This cycle, more than ever, I just go and get it done—no questions asked. And then there are the days, the glorious days that feel like I’m flying, like the HOKA slogan: “Fly, human fly.”
    Those days I feel like I was meant to be on the road. Born for it. Those days help build my confidence in my running strength and help me manage those more humdrum human days we all have.
    So for the next few weeks I’m going to continue to train hard, show up—be patient with my paces—and focus on staying healthy and relaxed!
    Whatever you’re doing, whatever you’re training for, whatever you’re dreaming of, keep going. We’re all in this together.
    What do you do to pump yourself up?
    How do you train when it’s hard?
    What’s one tip you can share for your fall marathon cycle?
    HOKA has graciously set aside shoes for two winners who share their best tips. LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN SHOES!!!
    Caroline Bolduc has been keeping a HOKA training blog for iRun. To revisit her earlier stories, please click here.


    1. I am struggling mentally this training cycle. I’ve been down this road before but I don’t remember it ever being this bad. So I am running with gratitude. Every time I get out the door to run it is a win and I will dedicate that run to someone or something for which I am grateful. Those little reminders of how lucky I am are helping and am hoping I’ll turn a corner and get back to my old self soon! Gratitude baby!

    2. I change the terrain I train on. If city streets is what I’ve been doing, I change to a path (paved or dirt) and something with changes in elevation. It has you thinking ahead of what’s around the corner and not about the act of just getting out and train.

    3. When the weather is bad and I am tempted to forgo the training run, I say to myself “it might rain/snow/insert whatever weather, on race day”. That gets me out and completing my run. Afterwards I feel strong and accomplished. While we cannot control Mother Nature, we can run with her.

    4. I find that just signing up for a race gives me the motivation to train. Just being able to run makes me very grateful and helps get me out the door on days when I’m not feeling motivated. Consistency in training and doing your slow long run every week are key to preparing for a fall marathon.

    5. I have run seven marathons, and they are still difficult. The best tip I have to run such a distance is to join a clinic. I am not a “natural athlete”, and training is hard for me. The best way to do it, for me, is with like-minded individuals. I know I will never place, but I will finish. Having a group to help me get out there, even when I am not feeling it, is the best motivation. My second tip is to be happy you are able to run. Not everyone can run. One day, I might not be able to do these distances, and I will look back and say to myself: “I am so happy I did this while I was able to”.

    6. I have embraced the “robot mode” way of thinking or non-thinking actually. Meaning that when your motivation fails, you get into robot mode, no-thinking, just dress up and go, think about the goal only. It’s been very efficient for me into getting out the door to train for my fall (half)marathon when it’s late or I’m tired or the weather is bad.

    7. For motivation on the hardest days, i rely on accountability and community. Accountability to my race day partner who lives in a different city (we relay all training runs to each other), and community by running with friends – or even asking my boyfriend, who loves biking alongside my long runs. A favourite saying: bad days are necessary to highlight how good the good days are! Bad days also build mental toughness and resilience 🙂

    8. I just think that it’s time reserved for me, myself and I. And, what about the feeling after the shower! We never regret a run when it’s done.

    9. I am running the P’tit Train Du Nord marathon at the beginning of October for the second time, I find for myself that by sticking to my training plan I will be as ready as I can be to run this race. Last year i ran without any pressure on myself and I finished in 4 hours 21 minutes (I am 61 years old), I think the key is to be disciplined with the training but at the end of the day, just have fun, soak in the experience and no matter what the outcome is you should be proud of yourself. Not everybody gets up at the crack of dawn to run 42.2k!

    10. The biggest thing I have learned over the years is to be able to embrace running slow, so you can run fast. Focusing on effort rather than pace. Listen to your body.

    11. Fall weather is unpredictable so pack wisely when travelling to a race. My essential item is a poncho because it keeps you dry, blocks wind and can trap heat. Also, they’re easy to run with if you don’t ditch it at the start.

    12. I prefer to run early mornings (4:00 am wake up call anyone?), so what I do to pump myself up for my runs is to have my earphones on my bedside table right by my phone all charged up, so when ibtrun over to off my alarm – my earphoned are staring right at me, ready to play my jams for my run.

      The tip I have for marathon training is – don’t go into the training with a goal time in mind. I know…but why?! Because come race day, there are the unknowns. What will be the actual weather? Will I have issues with my hip or calf as I’m running? What if I don’t get enough rest the night before? Run and train for the love of the sport, is the best tip I can give.

    13. For those super long runs I like to do an hour or two with a local running group to break up the run and get through it, for example I might do an hour solo then run with a group for 60-90min and if I still have more to do ill finish off solo. This way I’m not trying to grind out 2.5-3hr long runs solo all the time. I find it also helps me run routes that I normally wouldn’t do solo (as I probably wouldn’t even think of them)….. Also I like to think about the nice shower I’ll get to take after my run (I often find that super motivating 😁)

    14. To keep me motivated, I started using CityStrides and aim to run in every streets of my city. It gamify my training and sometimes makes me run more than I would have normally. I also listen to podcasts and audio books only when I’m exercising, so wanting to listen more keeps me going out.

    15. I’m currently training for a 1/2 marathon, never have done this distance, and the best advice I can provide is, just get up, get dressed and do the run. If you feel crappy, just run, if you feel great… run. It will all work out as long as you try.

    16. The way I keep myself motivated when training gets hard to visualize myself finishing. A sure fire way to add that extra pep in my step on any training morning is to repeatedly picture the finish in my head — I probably finish the race in my head a thousand time before I actually do! Doing this gives me a taste of the finish line enthusiasm, adrenaline, etc. Whenever I look down at my watch, I am noticeably running faster. 🙂

    17. I run to keep my heart healthy and stress management. Yes, it always feels great when done day’s run. I listen to electronic remixes of popular songs with a high tempo to get moving out the door.

    18. One of my best tips would be is to train with a partner or friend or teammate. Even on a bad run, you work together to get yourselves through the hard kms and when you finish, you enjoy the success together! I ran my furthest distance to date, 28km with a teammate and we pushed each other through the tough kms, we chatted for 3 hours about all kinds of stuff and when we both finished, we hugged at our accomplishment! We are both running full marathons a few weeks apart and I know it would be a struggle to do these distances alone. We already have a plan for next weeks 31 km run!

    Comments are closed.