At the beginning of May, I ran my third marathon and got myself a 24 minute PR. I was astounded to see that my hard work and dedication had truly paid off. When I posted my race recap, I received a comment asking me to share what I did differently to achieve this result and I’m more than happy to share my secrets.

Consistency

One of my biggest problems in previous training cycles was not being consistent with my training. I would skip runs here and there and I would swap runs. Instead of running 5 tempo miles, I would run 5 easy miles. This training cycle, I hired a running coach. I needed someone to keep me accountable to my running plan and to call me out if I decided to skip the hill work.

This training plan, I followed what my coach’s plan stated (with some exceptions). If it was hill run day, I did hills. If it was a tempo run day, I did the tempo run. And if I was to run a slow long run, I kept my pace slow. I learned that it’s not just about miles but about the quality of miles you put in. If you’re training for an event, every mile should have a purpose towards your goal. Sticking to the scheduled runs and keeping that goal in my mind were huge factors in my success…

This is an excerpt from the article How I got faster and shaved 24 minutes off my marathon time which originally appeared on http://www.prettylittlegrub.com/.