Training Tips and Advice for Portland Shamrock Runners

This post is written by Mark Hadley, one of the top online running coaches with RunDoyen.

Thousands of people across the state and region have begun their training for Shamrock Run on St. Patty’s Day — March 17th. (If you want to get in on the fun, you can sign up here.) So I thought this would be a great time to provide four training tips to help everyone get to the start line happy, healthy, confident and ready to ShamROCK it!

Tip 1: Take Recovery Seriously! Your body does not get the benefits of the hard work you do (such as pushing the pace or distance on a run) until it has adequately recovered from it. So take your recovery from these workouts just as seriously as you do the workouts. Be sure you rehydrate and refuel well (yes coach says “eat”) after the runs and be sure to get enough sleep. Nothing beats an afternoon nap on the weekend after a morning long run. Use that to your advantage, tell your significant other or kids: ”got to nap, coach’s orders”. ☺

Tip 2: Be Consistent! In running, we build fitness gradually over time by stacking 1 stress and recovery cycle (see Tip 1 above) one on top of each other. Run, recover from it, and then repeat that process over and over. So consistency is a big key to making that happen. Don’t feel you have to do any herculean workouts or “Rocky” montage of crazy training; you don’t, you just need to keep showing up week after week to do solid work and let fitness build slowly over time. Do this and gradually you’ll be able to do more and/or do it faster.

Tip 3:  Stay Positive!  How any workout or run goes is largely determined by the attitude we bring to it, so be sure to stay positive and optimistic. Recognize and dismiss negative thoughts quickly and focus on the positive. Repeating positive mantras such as “I got this” or “smooth and steady” can be a great way to stay focused and positive. Also make sure you give yourself full credit for all the runs you do, because you need to let the work you do in training build up your confidence as well as your fitness. Not being too hard on yourself, you’ll need both confidence and fitness to be at your best on race day.

Tip 4:  Break it Up!   Any big task is made much more manageable by breaking it up into smaller parts and just tackling one part at a time. Nowhere is that true more than in long distance races or workouts. Instead of thinking of how many miles are left, break the run down into smaller segments and just keep your mind on executing the segment you’re in, one at a time. Do this, and before you know it the finish line will be in sight.

There you have it. 4 tips for your training for the Shamrock races that will help you be ready to roll on race day. One last reminder, as you head to start line be sure to smile and give yourself permission to the badass you have worked so hard in training to become. Believe in yourself, embrace the challenge and enjoy the journey.

Happy Running,

Coach Mark Hadley

Mark has coached 100+ runners to Boston Marathon Qualifiers and also is the author of this year’s Shamrock 8k Training Plan. Anyone interested in Personal Coaching or a Custom Training Plan with Mark, can message him or schedule a free consultation at:


About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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