Track workouts are tough.

Today’s track workout called for 10 x 400m in 1:37 with a 400m recovery interval. When I first looked at the workout I thought, “That sounds pretty easy. Thank goodness for an easy track day.” After completing 2 sets and 2 recovery jogs, I knew that it wasn’t going to be so easy.

Our times were pretty much on the money and they ranged from 1:34 to 1:41. Our times went up during the last 5 sets because we were sharing the track and had to run in the outside lanes. Including the jog over and back, we ended with about 5.5 miles for the day (2.5 fast and 2.5 easy).

I’ve been having some very “tough feeling” runs lately, so I’ve come up with a list of things that help me push through and get the job done.

5 Ways to Survive a Tough Run

1. Visualize your ultimate goal: Try to remember what you are training for and your ultimate reason for training so hard. When I picture myself qualifying for Boston (hopefully!), I am able to push through and finish strong.

2. Split the workout into chunks: It is so much easier to split the workout into small, manageable pieces. For example, think of a 20 miler as four 5 mile chunks or 10 x 400m as two sets of 5. It’s all mental, but it really helps.

3. Repeat a quote or phrase that motivates you: Find a quote that you really like and repeat it when the times get tough. I’ve been using this one lately…”Comfort is a great place to be, but nothing grows there.” During the last mile of a race I ALWAYS repeat, “You can do anything for a mile.”

4. Think about someone special: Picture someone who means a lot to you, someone who makes you smile. This helps me to forget about how tough the workout is and let’s me focus on that person who motivates me to keep going.

5. Visualize a reward: Most often I think about what I will eat later in the day… Whatever your reward may be (a pedicure, a margarita, an ice cream sundae), make sure to treat yourself every once in a while everyday!


How do you get through a tough workout?

Anybody else do speed work today?


  1. Linda I think I got through today by looking for Jeanette’s water bottle..sounds crazy but true…I try to run for others…like my sister who is paraplegic..for the freedom that it gives us…you will make it to Boston! Keep up the hard work and shoot for the stars!!!😀

  2. I also split my tough runs into chunks, at least in my head, and I think only about the portion I’m running at that moment.

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