Running and Triathlon Coaching

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Overthinking your Race.

Yesterday my wife completed her first marathon, but before the race she started doubting herself when she already put in the right training. This typical for anyone who is nervous about their first marathon and I have seen it affect runner’s performance negatively. I was glad to be there for her. I didn’t let her think about what could happen and start overthinking about running a marathon. I let her know what she needed to do, she found a pace group to run with and she reach her goal with a smile with her face.

Overthinking is a mental aspect of competition that can negatively affect the competitor’s performance. In regards to running, overthinking is simply as its name implies – the runner starts thinking too much about race related activities. This relatively common lapse in mental toughness can lead to worrying, self-doubt and ultimately a poor race performance. I see overthinking happen the most when runners have a lack of confidence in their training which, in turn, leads to worry that conveniently sets in on race day morning. The best way to counteract this mental deficit is to run smart and relaxed, believe in yourself and trust your training program. As a last resort, if there has been a lack of training, then the race can become a training run where random volunteers give you water along the way and you get a medal at the end! Mentally, it is important to remember why you run…don’t sweat over a race too much. Of course, like most difficult and mentally trying activities, it is easier said than done 😉

Getting ready to run your race.

Practice the Way You Race
Being a running coach I am often asked what a runner should do during the few days before a big race. I have found that runners who change their routine before a race often have some kind of bad experience or issue, especially when something new is added. Take a runner, for example, who read in Runner’s World magazine that carb loading by means of a huge pasta dinner the night before a race will optimize performance. However, said runner does not usually eat pasta and now, on race day morning, is having stomach issues and feeling heavy and “off” – no bueno. Other examples include but are not limited to sampling a new flavor of Gu, wearing a new outfit – or worse, new shoes – or trying out the new hydration belt your husband got you as an early Christmas present the night before the Jingle Bell half marathon. So now, I find myself telling my runners to utilize their weekly long runs as a means to practice their pre-race routine. My high school coach Bruce Nelson said it best, “practice the way you race, race the way you practice”.

Milton Lyons


Recovery wpHow to recovery quickly and efficiently after an Half Marathon/Marathon?

There are five things you can do that I have learned from other coaches or through personal experience how to get those legs feeling normal again. Recovering the proper way is also a way to prevent injuries from happening.

  1. HYDRATE, DRINK! (not just beer) It is very important to continue to stay hydrated after your big race. Water is good, but also other electrolytes products like Gatorade, NUUN, or any type of sport drink. If you like milk and chocolate, chocolate milk is the best recovery drink you can take right after your run.
  2. ICE ICE BABY! The first thing I do after my long run or marathon race is sit in an ice bath for 12-15 minutes. On my way to my hotel or home I will swing by a store to buy 3 bags of ice and sit in icy water. I learn this trick in college from my athletic trainer and probably one of the best running advice someone gave who didn’t run.
  3. GO RUN SOME MORE! Recovery run that consist of 1 to 2 miles (or around the block) may hurt but you’ll be back to your old running self in no time! These runs will help loosen up your tight quads and calves to speed up healing, and you don’t have to make it a 5-miler. Just ten or twenty minutes is enough.
  4. SOCK IT UP! Blood carries oxygen, oxygen helps the healing process, compression socks speeds up blood flow and the leads up to quicker recovery! You may look funny walking in public with knee highs, but just wear your race shirt and people will think your crazy because you run a marathon, not because of your socks.
  5. TREAT YOURSELF TO A MASSAGE, YOU EARNED IT! The day OR two after your race, book yourself an appointment with a massage therapist or a date with your foam roller. I highly recommend the Trigger Point Grid Foam Roller. This will reduce the pains of muscle soreness. Spend some time where it hurts the most and do it in small time segments, but often.

Milton Lyons

Lyons Endurance Training

Personal Running Coach

milton runningHow to pick the right marathon
Picking the right marathon should focus on the right weather for training for a marathon. That will depend where you live.
Good example is where I live in Florida. If the marathon is a fall marathon (e.g. Disney, Space Coast, Chicago, New York and etc.) it’s probably though to beat the heat and will have difficulty running the pace you want to run in your training.
Then we have the spring marathons, (Georgia, Boston and etc.) the best time to train for a marathon! The best running weather in the south is probably January through early April.

The downside is, no matter where you live in the south and you want some good training for a marathon, but you probably have to travel for that 26.2 adventure. I will take the traveling vs training in miserable, hot, humid, rainy, awful, draining weather.

Pick the right marathon for you and your training or you might hate running afterwards….

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