Putting Out 100%

A common question I get from runners is, “How can I get faster?” My answer is always the same, “Run harder in practice and you’ll run faster on race day.”

Most newbie runners are given the same advice when they take up running, which is to run slow because the miles are what count, not how fast you do them. They get stuck in this pattern of running a slow-to-moderate pace for every single run and then they wonder why they feel so fatigued in the middle of their race and don’t meet their goal time.

Run Clubbers put out 100% together and get faster together.

HOW FAST you run your runs is just as important as HOW FAR your runs are.

You gotta put out 100% every time.

Me, putting out 100%

When you train slow, you will run slow in your race. If you want to get faster you have got to start by being honest with yourself. You’re not putting 100% into every single workout, are you?

Confession: I’m not. There. I said it. It’s out there. I put out about 80% of the time. I know where I need to put more effort and I’m working on it. In fact, my doctor and I are both working on it. You see, we’re putting our heads together to do everything possible for my body so that I will some day soon go into remission. Drugs, diet, resting, but most importantly, staying on top of all of it.

I am scared of my disease taking over every single workout, so I don’t always put 100% into every single minute because it makes it all the more frustrating when I have to stop dead in my tracks and take care of business. Problem is, this is a lousy way to set a PR and I’m getting nowhere with it. So I’m adapting.

Treadmill = Adaptation. Treadmill haters, you can suck it.

Today I put out 100%. I could have stopped, slowed down, done an easy run instead of a tempo run. But I didn’t. And I feel awesome because I didn’t.

I put out 100%.

Did you? Or did you do the same old thing at the same old pace for the same old repetitions at the same old weight?

Testing your limits and exploring your edges is the only way to get better at your sport. You have to push harder, run faster, run longer in order to see a change in your body and in your time. That is the only way. Speed work, hard hills, challenging weights, one more mile, a longer yoga class. Start now! Push. Put out 100%. I bet you surprise yourself with what you can do. Go ahead, give it a shot and watch the changes roll your way.

Now go out and run.

When was the last time you really put out 100% in a workout? How often does that happen? Do you put out in your runs but not in the gym? Tell me about it.

8 thoughts on “Putting Out 100%

  1. Hi Abby! I love the reminder to give it our best! And you are so right – we can only get faster if we run faster! In curious what you think though about running slower too – in order to build endurance and also give our bodies time for recovery to rebuild and truly benefit from the 100% all out efforts. I “run hard” about 3 days a week ( intervals on the track, tempo runs, hills etc and also long runs = hard) but then 3 days a week I run an “easy” pace. I WANT to get faster, and learn to hold a fast pace in the marathon but I believe every run has a purpose and sometimes 100% would be a bad idea for me! Especially while marathon training and building my mileage so high (for me). Im afraid going all out for every run would tax my body too much and lead to injury or burnout!

    • Not every run is an all-out sprint. If you have the right schedule, you have a mixture of runs and paces (from all-out to your goal marathon pace to 30 seconds slower than goal marathon pace). Recovery runs are the slowest, but long runs need to be run at goal marathon pace or just a hair slower if you want to hit that goal time. 100% means effort, not speed. Does that help?

  2. I agree…speed training is key to improving. And I think you can do a recovery workout at 100% too. A solid, focused recovery run feels much different (and better) than not trying very hard.

  3. You are definitely right. But my advice is that the newbies beware of the trap. It is just about finishing when it’s you’re first race. It can feel tedious, but I’m being patient!

    • I would add on to your comment “It’s just about finishing…AND FEELING GOOD” for newbies. That requires some very serious training and there is a huuuuuuge difference between just finishing and finishing and feeling good. That’s always my goal and I’m going on my tenth marathon.

  4. When I first started training for marathons/half-marathons, I was the queen of “running at a slow to moderate pace”. I just wanted to finish and feel good doing it (which I did!) But now I know I want to run faster and I need to not be afraid of putting in 100% effort. It scares me to change up my workouts; I always get this idea in my head that I’ll get so tired I won’t be able to finish (stupid reasoning!). But, like you said, 100% doesn’t mean sprinting all out, it means “effort”. If I make a mistake, SO WHAT?! I’ll learn from that experience and adjust in the future.

    I do need to remind myself to be careful when adding in speed workouts. If you don’t increase/”change” your running correctly you might hurt yourself…(I’m guilty of that!)

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