What’s Beautiful: Running Faster and How To Get There

I am feeling so fortunate that I was chosen to be part of the Under Armour What’s Beautiful program! This is a sponsored program in which I was selected by Fitfluential to participate.  The timing is perfect as I set about planning my training program for my next half marathon, The Costume Party Run.

The What’s Beautiful project is a competition with the goal of redefining the female athlete. Women are invited to set goals for themselves and then go out and achieve them. They are encouraged to try things that they never thought that they could, share their stories, team up with other women with similar goals, and work together to accomplish amazing things.

Miles not inches - What's Beautiful

The best part is that the Under Armour What’s Beautiful program is for everybody. Not just elite level athletes, but ordinary women who would like to push themselves to achieve the extraordinary.

Anybody can join, compete, and be rewarded for their efforts.  All you need is to sign up , choose a goal, and share your journey. You can also be a part of a team, either by forming your own, or joining a team of women with similar goals.

It was pretty easy to select my goal. I am actually in the middle of week one of my nine week training program for the Costume Party Run. I came very close to finishing my last race in two hours, in spite of the hilly course and my asthma problems. My What’s Beautiful goal is:  Run my first post-50 year old sub-2:00 half marathon in July!  I WILL.

What's Beautiful

Part of the fun of the What’s Beautiful project is that you are encouraged to share your progress by completing challenges and uploading pictures and videos, so of course I will be doing that too.  There are even prizes involved! Great Under Armour swag guaranteed to motivate you even more, plus some grand prizes that are really awesome.

I have the goal, so I must create the plan to get there. This is week one of my nine-week training program, and I have already started the work, even though I just finished writing the program today. I based it on my last program, with a few tweaks. So, how am I going to go from a 2:05:41 to a sub-2:00? Here’s what I’m doing different:

  • More long runs. I’m already in good shape, so I’m picking up where I left off. After this weekend’s nine-miler, I will be right back into the 10+ range. I’m even planning a 14 mile run this time around.
  • More focused speed workouts. In this training cycle, Wednesdays will alternate between intervals (mostly 800s or longer), and tempo workouts (working up to four miles at tempo pace).
  • A few “negative split” workouts during my long runs. I love these and they are so effective for teaching you to run fast even when you’re tired.
  • Now that my work will be slowing down, I will get back to the gym.
  • Yoga (I can hear you laughing saying “yeah, right.” But really, yoga.
  • I have an appointment with my asthma doctor next week to see what we can do about the exercise induced asthma. It is something I have dealt with for a long time, but now that I’m training harder it is becoming more of an issue. I haven’t been to this doctor for about seven years, haven’t needed to. Alan is suggesting I try Montelukast, the generic version of Singulair,  a pill that you take once a day that he says has been amazing for his asthma.
  • There are virtually no hills on the Costume Party Run course. Yay!

I’m confident that if I follow my training schedule, stay injury free, and manage my asthma, I can achieve my goal of a post-50 year old, sub 2:00 half marathon. If you’re interested in the program, click on the thumbnail for a full size version. I’ll probably make a few more tweaks along the way, but here you go:

What's Beautiful

I hope that you will take a few moments to check out the What’s Beautiful website and think about joining the challenge. Then, you can click on over to my page and follow me (I’ll follow you back, I promise). I also started a team, Team Awesome, which I invite you to join. Our goal is to run, walk, skip, or jump across the country (and you can take that either literally or figuratively). Basically, our goal is to get moving, keep moving, and rack up some mileage.

Here are some details about What’s Beautiful from the Under Armour website:

Together we’re redefining the female athlete by setting epic goals and pushing past where we’ve ever been and where we thought we could go. Join us. Set your own personal goal. Then document your journey by posting videos and photos that tell your story from start to victory.

We’ll continuously post challenges for you. But that’s just the beginning. Show us your journey. Show us what makes your story the one that stands out from the rest. If you meet your goal, set a new one. Make it even bigger. Prove to everyone, and yourself, that you have more than what it takes.

Each week, Under Armour will be giving away swag bags full of loot to participants. they will feature top performers on their website. after 8 weeks, they will announce 10 finalists who have documented the most impressive & motivated journeys toward the goals. mid-July, winners will be announced! three winners will receive a trip to Costa Rica for a 4-day retreat.

I hope that I’ve got you excited and ready to get started! What are the goals that you would like to achieve?

 photo Signature_zps65e035a8.png Sharing is Caring!

Need a coach to help you reach your running goals?

LogoI am an RRCA certified running coach and I also hold a Level One USATF certification. I have more than 12 years experience coaching runners of all ages and levels. More information...


  1. says

    What are my goals? Well they are much different now than they were last month because I am still taking it easy until my foot is 100% better. So my short-term goal is to do strength (i.e. Crossfit exercises) two times a week. I’ve already noticed from all the running I was doing, I neglected my arms and lost some strength there. My long term goal is to run a sub 2:00 hr half marathon. Not sure when I will set this for as it depends again on the foot.
    Blair B. Strickland recently posted..No last blog posts to return.My Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge