Building Habits During Training

Since this is a build week for me I had (an extra) rest day yesterday. I know building back up to higher mileage takes time, but my legs really want to run! Hmph!

I filled my non-running time by sampling Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter. I am now a believer. That stuff is GOOD! I cannot wait to stock up on Fuji apples and put this stuff all over them!

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I’ve read about elite ultrarunner, Timothy Olson, eating Justin’s Hazelnut Butter during races and that is something I don’t get. I really want to be able to eat these during runs, but  they make me really thirsty!

So, yesterday during my lunch I was catching up on Miami Dolphins news and this one article in particular made me think about … running. Wow, shocker! ; )


“As much as that loss was like taking a punch to the gut, perhaps something good has come out of it.” 

Translated into runner’s terms: “As much as that bad race was like taking a punch to the gut after months of hard training, perhaps you learned something valuable from it.” 

For me, the Portland Marathon has led to something good – it’s lit a fire inside of me that makes me want to train right and get better every day. The marathon really pulled me out of my comfort zone and made me realize it’s going to take a lot more than what I was doing to get to where I want to be.

It’s possible to have a bad race and to not get anything good out of it… if you don’t want to get anything good out of it. But I think we should try to find lessons learned in ALL of our races. The worst race and the most well executed one can teach us a lot of things.


“What makes him [Cam Wake] most unusual is that he plays as hard on the final snap as he does on the first snap. The guy blocking him is getting tired and Wake isn’t letting up. He practices that way and plays that way.”

Translated into Runner’s Terms: If you train the right way you give yourself the best opportunity to run a great race. When others are slowing down at mile 5/10/20/etc., you’ll keep running strong because you didn’t allow yourself to wimp out during training runs.

There’s no doubt that we build habits during training.

We can build bad habits by always listening to the voice that says, “This is just a training run, it’s okay if you want to slow down now” or we can build good habits by listening to the voice that says, “Let’s go! Only X miles left, let’s finish this thing strong!”

I’ve definitely fallen pray to the bad voice before, but I’m all about that good voice now!

This training cycle I am laser focused on creating good habits!

I’m retiring my Portland Marathon playlist and building a new one – any song recommendations?



  1. October 23, 2014 / 8:09 am

    I like how you sneak pictures of Adam into your blog every once in awhile when you think I’m not paying attention. 😉 Just kidding! I know feel stupid about my “nut butter” question. I get it now!!! I do really like almond butter, but that is the only kind I ever had besides peanut butter. I don’t buy almond butter though cause it’s too expensive. 🙁 I made it once and broke my blender.

  2. October 23, 2014 / 8:49 am

    This is so true! I’m used to do some walking on my everyday runs, I “needed” it before, but now I catch myself walking even though I don’t need to. It’s really annoying how habits can slow progress. It’s actually really weird you mention this now, I was thinking about this when I woke up this morning haha 🙂

    Not sure what kind of music you like, but here are a few (too many, probably haha) suggestions. Yes, I know most of these songs are old, but I’m just looking through some random running playlists I’ve had hahah. Anyway, here are some 🙂
    Bombo – Adelén, The Fox – Ylvis, Olé – Adelén, Illuminate the Sky – Martin Halla, Am I Wrong – Envy (one of my fave running songs last fall), Wake me up – Avicii, RPM – Sasha Pieterse, Applause – Lady Gaga, The Banjo – 3Logy, Black Widow – Iggy Azalea, Blue Smoke – Dolly Parton, LadyBoy – RuPaul, Break Free – Ariana Grande, Can’t Hold Us – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, 9 to 5 – Dolly Parton, Ashtrays and Heartbreaks – Snoop Lion ft. Miley Cyrus, Easy Lover – Phil Collins, Geronimo – RuPaul, No – Sasha Pieterse, Problem – Ariana Grande ft. Iggy Azalea, Timber – Kesha, Going to Hell – The Pretty Reckless, Hey Brother – Avicii, Do My Thang – Miley Cyrus, 4×4 – Miley Cyrus, Pon De Floor – Major Lazer, Cuckoo – Adam Lambert, Your makeup is terrible – Alaska Thunderf*ck, Party – Adore Delano, Ini Mini Miny Moe – Anne Gadegaard, Work – Iggy Azalea, Poker Face – Lady Gaga, Va Va Voom – Nicki Minaj, Vannski – DJ Broiler, Adrenaline – RuPaul ft. Myah Marie, Lick it Lollipop – RuPaul ft. Lady Bunny, You Make Me Happy – Cathy Heller, Sail – Awolnation, I wish I were Amanda Lepore – Sharon Needles, Ulisse – Raige, Fuori dal paradiso – Raige, La cittá è buia – Raige, Miss Nothing – The Pretty Reckless, Royals – Lorde, Labels or Love – Fergie, Swagger Jagger – Cher Lloyd, Want U Back – Cher Lloyd, Please Mr Postman – The Carpenters, Sweet Sweet Smile – The Carpenters, Levels – Avicii, Flytta på dej – Alina Devecerski, Miss Murder – AFI, Hit The Road Jack – Ray Charles.
    Okay, didn’t realize that I had written so many hahah, sorry.. Hope you find something you like 🙂

    Btw, love how you translated his words into runner’s terms 😉

  3. October 23, 2014 / 8:54 am

    GREAT post Kristina! Very timely as I just started reading a book called ‘The Power of Habit’, by Charles Duhigg. Very interesting stuff hey! I’ve not gotten very far into it, but so far, what I’ve gleaned is, as soon as something becomes ‘habit’ and we automatically do it without consciously thinking about it, then we have so much more brain power/time/energy for a number of other things. Translated into running specific stuff, I guess, as soon as a longer distance or a faster pace becomes habitual, this leaves more time for our minds to wander and think about nut butter/your significant other and/or pet at home/anything else! 🙂

  4. October 23, 2014 / 9:40 am

    Repetition is key, goes back to a saying coaches use, you practice how you play. Sloppy in practice, you will be sloppy on game day.

    I’ve been using this mentality as well. Sage said on one of his training talks “if you complete LONG slow runs, you are going to become a good long slow runner”. You have to push past your comfort zone to get to the next level. Learning along the way and setting new goals is huge too. Keep up the great work.

  5. October 23, 2014 / 10:16 am

    I like what Schlub just said 🙂 I have been living in easy land because I just needed to finish, but the itch to push a little more always seems to return, it took me awhile this time lol Listen to that happy voice! My new mantra… no run is a bad run. I read somewhere it takes 8 weeks to break habit, so celebrate your progress and don’t beat yourself up if you have an off day, stuff doesn’t happen overnight like we want it to. I am in the mood for Almond butter now…that’s a really cute picture of you and Adam.

  6. October 23, 2014 / 11:11 am

    Love the picture of you and Adam!!!
    I agree, with Richard–practice how you play…except you do need some slow runs. A training plan usually has those marked out for you! I think we can learn something from every race/ every run!

  7. October 23, 2014 / 11:26 am

    I think Marie pretty much covered all of my music recommendations. Haha. 🙂 Super cute picture of you and Adam. I like how you translated the football article lessons and advice into running. So true. One of the things I have learned over the years is that every run and effort counts. There have been moments when I went out to do a 5 mile run and turned around after 1/2 mile. While I could have considered this a failure, I learned what I could and moved on.

  8. October 23, 2014 / 3:06 pm

    Isn’t it amazing that we can make some many things apply and fit into our running lives!!!
    I love how you are using this time of rebuilding your mileage to also refocus and make new plans for your next training cycle!

  9. October 23, 2014 / 3:40 pm

    I love how everything we do/read always relates back to running!!! These are some great lessons learned for sure!! Focused and driven people can accomplish anything!!! You are going to do really big things after/during this cycle!!

  10. October 23, 2014 / 7:17 pm

    Love this post. Yes, I definitely learn from every race. And I like the idea of building good habits. Speed work is my weakness, and it’s so easy for me to think, “oh well, I’m not fast, I can’t do this pace” and slow down. But that’s not what will make me a better runner!

  11. October 23, 2014 / 8:08 pm

    I love that pic of you and Adam! So cute!

    I can’t imagine eating PB on the run. It’s so thick!!

  12. October 23, 2014 / 10:10 pm

    Cute picture of you two! And I am glad you liked Justins! You make a great point of forming good habits during training runs. I admit – I probably do not have the best ones!