Three-time IRONMAN World Champion Mirinda “Rinny” Carfrae is no stranger to challenging workouts training 35 hours per week, including running up to 60 miles over six days at the peak of the season. We sat down with Rinny who shared several tips and advice for training and recovery and how she overcomes the mental and physical blocks.
What’s your favorite thing about running?
MC: “For me, running is relaxing, especially when you’re really fit. I do a lot of runs in the evening around sunset, which I find therapeutic. It’s time I have for myself, to focus on my own goals and thoughts.”
How do you keep up the momentum during training?
MC: “Overall, I really enjoy my job. But some days it’s hard to keep up the energy in training–I get up and I’m tired, I’m sore and I don’t want to train, just like anyone out there. On those days, I think about my end goal and how it will feel to cross that finish line knowing I prepared the best I could. The fear of not giving my best is enough motivation for me.”
Any tips for new runners training for their first half or full marathon?
MC: “It’s easy to get hung up on your pace and how fast or slow you’re going. I find that focusing on the overall time you spend running rather than the number of miles takes the pressure off of worrying about the distance and pace.
Be sure you have a training plan. Mapping it out really helps you focus on the smaller goals to take the necessary steps to condition your body and best prepare for race day. And most of all, be smart about your training and listen to your body.”
How do you break through the mental and physical blocks?
MC: “When I’m tired or feeling run down, I try to think positive, knowing that all of the training will be worth it and pay off on race day. I find it helps to focus on the little things when you start to hit the wall…breathing, pacing, hydrating and fueling properly. While it’s important to keep your eye on the end goal, be sure to have small check points along the way. Overall, I prefer to know I gave it my best and gave 100%. You’ll notice it becomes second nature to push through the bumps in training.”
Long distance runners lose a lot of sweat and necessary nutrients making recovery crucial to building muscle and staying physically strong. Any tips on how to best recover after a long run?
MC: “The 30 minutes right after strenuous exercise is the most crucial time to recover and replenish what you’ve lost. Chocolate milk is a great and easy option and I’ve been recovering with it for years. You can find it anywhere, from your supermarket or corner store, and it has the right mix of carbohydrates and high quality protein. It’s also got your electrolytes, sodium, potassium; all the elements you lose when you’re sweating. It’s a great little formula, and all natural, simple and lowfat.”
Anything to keep in mind on race day?
MC: “It will be easy to let your mind wander. Just try and focus on being in the moment. When you have a clear mind, you’ll be able to take it one mile at a time, and that’s when you’ll have your best race.”