runDisney Training – When Training Gets Tough

Training cycles can be long. There may even come a point where training gets downright hard. So how do you push through those runs that seem so tough?

Tips for when Training gets Tough

For starters, know that this happens to EVERY runner! Whether you have been running for months or years, every runner goes through a time where training gets tough. It may be when the mileage piles on. It may be when life tries to get in the way. It may be when the weather interferes. Regardless of the reason, here are some tips to help push through those tough training times.

Find a new route. It is very easy to run the same route over and over. (We can attest to running the routes near our homes the most!) You know every hill and mile marker, and that can make your runs seem boring. Switch things up by finding a new route, specifically for the longer runs. A change in scenery may be all it takes to get out of your training rut! (Note: ALWAYS research your route first, making sure it is safe.)

Grab a running buddy. The thought of running miles and miles, specifically alone, may be daunting. (Even more so if you have been doing the majority of your runs alone as well.) Find yourself a running buddy! Someone at the gym, a neighbor or even a friend or family member alongside of you during your runs will not only offer encouragement, but also a distraction during the miles. No one around you is a runner? Have them bike alongside of you instead!

Focus on the goal ahead of you. There may be times where you get caught up in the training doldrums that you lose sight of your goal at hand. Is it to finish a runDisney race? Then focus on the course! While Megan was training for her first marathon, she would note the mile markers of the Walt Disney World Marathon course. It made her long runs a little more fun when should would note that mile 6 was Magic Kingdom, mile 12 was Animal Kingdom, etc. Always have a mental picture of your goal to help keep you focused.

Take a little break. Sometimes a training rut means your body needs a break. While you can’t completely stop training, it may be wise to cut back on the mileage a bit. (Note: You should be tired during “peak week” a few weeks prior to your race – that’s why taper occurs soon after!) There are many training plans that allow for cut back weeks, specifically Jeff Galloway’s. Listen to your body, yet make sure you are getting in the training needed for your goal.

Remember why you started running. We all began our running journey for different reasons. To get in shape. To achieve a goal. To raise money/awareness for a charity. In the midst of training, sometimes we forget why we started running in the first place! When training gets tough, remember why you started. That may be just the thing you need to turn your training around!

Tips for when Training gets Tough

While training can get tough from time to time, know that you are not alone! Push through as best you can, knowing that your goal can be achieved. Focus on those magical miles you will take on while at Walt Disney World and Disneyland – sure to bring a smile to your face!

Throughout these blog posts, we will cover all aspects of training from our own personal experience. Please note that we are not medical doctors, personal trainers, registered dietitians or in any way qualified to give individualized recommendations. If you have something you would like us to address, please send an email to!



Creating your runDisney Costume

runDisney races bring out a lot of unique experiences. Running through the parks. Photo opportunities with characters. And yes, the amazing costume creations of the runners!

Creating your runDisney Costume

So how exactly do you create a runDisney costume? The good news is, you don’t have to be a master costumer or seamstress! There are many ways to create a runDisney costume that will not only look great but feel great as you run.

Creating your runDisney Costume

Find your character inspiration. Disney provides many characters throughout their movies and within the parks. Add in the addition of Pixar, Marvel and LucasFilms, and the inspiration is almost overwhelming! Choose a character that not only means something to you, but also is easy to recreate (depending on your creative ability). Villains, super heroes, princesses, sidekicks, attraction inspiration – the list goes on and on. (Not wanting to create a full costume? Run with Perseverance has some great Disney-inspired tank tops that would be great during a runDisney race!)

Locate running gear to match. Find a photo of your character or inspiration, then start to piece together the various aspects. For example, our friend Carlee decided to recreate Russell from UP! A yellow shirt and brown skirt were the main components of running gear, followed by various embellishments. Another example are the princesses. Each princess has a specific color palette that you build upon. The most important (especially for the longer races), is to choose running gear you know will be comfortable!

Creating your runDisney Costume

Photo: Sparkle Athletic

Add embellishments. This is where your costume comes to life! With your colored running gear in place, now you begin to add the extras that will make your character become more recognizable. Carlee’s version of Russell included his Wilderness Explorer hat and sash, and even an orange backpack. Take a look at various photos online (or even watch the movies or visit the parks) to see what makes that character stand out. For Rapunzel, it may be Pascal. For Maleficent, it’s her horns. Add the embellishments that will help define your character, while not adding too much extra – remember you still need to be able to run!

Give it a trial run (or two). Yes, we realize that running around your neighborhood in your costume is a little silly. However, it is a MUST! Not only do you need to make sure your costume is comfortable, you need to make sure it is going to stay together and work well. Through the trial run, you’ll find what areas cause some chafing, what areas need a little extra reinforcement, etc. Who knows, maybe you will inspire your neighbor to run a runDisney race in the future!
Creating your runDisney Costume

Your runDisney costume doesn’t have to be elaborate, the most important things is for it to fit into your schedule and ability. (Although, it is a lot of fun to see some of the creations others make!)  Whether you are inspired by a character or could pass for the character in the parks, you are sure to bring a smile to those around you.

Our wonderful friends at Sparkle Athletic and ProCompression have graciously offered a GIVEAWAY! Enter below for your chance to win items that just may help create your next runDisney costume!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Costuming!


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runDisney Training – Training through the Holidays

Disclosure: Kohl’s sent Megan clothes from their active line to review. She has been a Kohl’s shopper for many years and is very excited to see that their activewear line is expanding! As always, all opinions are her own.

The holidays. A time for family and friends to get together and celebrate. There are parties. There is a lot of food. There are gifts. And there is little time for much else – training included.

Training through the Holidays

For the runDisney runners who have a race (or more) scheduled during the Walt Disney World Marathon or Star Wars Half Marathon Weekends in particular, the holidays mean one thing – peak training. That’s right, along with all the fun festivities the holidays bring, you also need to run some of your longest training runs! So how do you keep on training through the holidays? Here are a few of our tips!

Schedule it in. During the holidays, your schedule may be insane. Shopping, baking, parties – the list goes on and on. Make sure you schedule in your training as well. Putting it in the calendar means that you have a set time for it, another appointment or event you can’t miss. While you may need to do a little re-arranging due to prior commitments, scheduling it in allows you to see that you can fit in training during the holiday chaos. And yes, you may have to miss a run or two – that’s okay! Do your best to get the majority in, specifically the longer runs.

Dress for the conditions. For those of you in the northern regions, Jack Frost may bring a new aspect to your training – cold and even snow. Make sure that you have running clothes and gear that will allow you to stay safe and warm during your run. If you are in the warmer weather (or are running inside on a treadmill), be sure to include items that wick sweat and keep you comfortable. There are even some great clothing options that make it easy to go from a run to a holiday festivity! (Although, we do suggest a little bit of freshening up first.)

Get the family involved. Since the holidays also include a lot of family time – get everyone involved! While they may not go for a run with you, they can help with some cross training. Sledding, building snow forts, shoveling the driveway – these are all great ways to get the family outside and active during the holidays. (And yes, cross training DOES help with running!)

Treat yourself. Keeping up with your events, training and everything else the holidays bring can be exhausting. Once it’s over (or maybe even while it’s going on), treat yourself for all you have accomplished! Whether it’s a massage, signing up for a race or new running clothes, give yourself a little gift to keep you encouraged as you fit your training into the busy holiday season.

Tips for Training through the Holidays

As you prepare for the holiday season, these tips can help keep your runDisney training going. However, we must state that family is ALWAYS more important. Be sure to spend lots of quality time with those that you love this holiday season!


Throughout these blog posts, we will cover all aspects of training from our own personal experience. Please note that we are not medical doctors, personal trainers, registered dietitians or in any way qualified to give individualized recommendations. If you have something you would like us to address, please send an email to!


Resort Review – Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside

Enjoy a quaint experience with Southern charm at Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts! For those wanting the excitement of Mardi Gras, choose the French Quarter. If you are looking for the tranquility of the bayou, then Riverside is for you.

Resort Review - Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside Resorts

Located in the Downtown Disney area, this moderate resort offers peace away from the parks. Bus transportation is provided to all four theme parks, as well as boat transportation to Downtown Disney. Best of all, this is the most compact moderate resort, meaning less time on your feet before (and after) your race.

Room types are similar between the two resorts, which view options such as standard (which may overlook at parking lot), garden, pool and river. All rooms include two queen beds or one king bed. If your party size is larger, Port Orleans Riverside can sleep up to 5, with an addition of a bunk-size pull-down bed. If a truly royal experience is in order, Royal Rooms are also available at Port Orleans Riverside! Princess Tiana has made these rooms fit for royalty, including special headboards and decor from her princess friends.

Resort Review - Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside Resorts

Pools are available at both French Quarter and Riverside, including a main pool at each complete with a water slide. Even better, if you are staying at either Port Orleans location, you can use ANY of the pools! (That means a lot of pools to explore!) Other recreation options include bike rental, horse-drawn carriage rides, fishing, arcade games, campfire activities and even a Pirate Adventure Cruise.

There are two food court areas – Riverside Mill at Riverside and Sassagoula Floatworks & Food Factory at French Quarter. A table service restaurant, Boatwright’s Dining Hall, is also available at Riverside. For some nighttime entertainment, head to the River Roost lounge at Riverside and listen to the musical stylings of Yehaa Bob!

Resort Review - Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter and Riverside Resorts

During a runDisney race weekend, Disney’s Port Orleans Resorts are definitely a runner favorite. With the compact size and price range that’s easier on the wallet, it makes for a great race weekend resort option. (Note: Although the Walt Disney World Half Marathon, Walt Disney World Marathon and Princess Half Marathon start lines are close to this resort, you CANNOT walk to it.)


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The Great runDisney Corral Discussion

If there is one aspect of a runDisney race that brings out the not-so-fun side of runners, it’s corral placement! So what exactly are these corrals and why do they cause such an uproar?

runDisney Corrals

Corrals are a way to “seed” runners and offer a staggered start to a race. As the popularity of runDisney grew, it was imperative for the race directors to come up with a way to ensure 25,000 runners weren’t stampeding the race start or other runners. During race registration, runners can input an estimated finish time along with a valid proof of time from a previous race to be placed in a corral with runners of a similar pace. The corrals are then released one-by-one on race morning, allowing the course to free up a little before the next set of runners comes through.

However, in the past, there has been a LOT of discussion, debate and frustration once runDisney would send out corral placements for the longer races. Runners would be upset they were in the “wrong corral”, others would feel the corrals were too crowded, there were even runners who had not been truthful when it came to their time. The list went on and on.

Here is a look at what the corrals include for each runDisney race distance, along with our thoughts and tips!

It cannot be stressed enough, BE HONEST when inputting your estimated pace or race finish time during registration. Corral placements are primarily there to ensure to runner safety. 


5K & 10K Races

For most of the 5K and 10K races, there are around 5 corrals for each event. These corral placements are not given until you pick up your race bib at the Health & Fitness Expo. They are denoted with a letter, usually A through E. Corral A goes first, and so on. Both the 5K and 10K races have around 6-8 minutes in between each corral release.

During the 5K races, there is basically no rhyme or reason as to how your corral is chosen. Since it is a fun run and is therefore not timed, it really doesn’t matter!

For the 10K races, your corral is based off of the estimated pace you input during registration. In past races, some runners have found this isn’t necessarily what actually happens – especially if there is a runDisney challenge in the mix.


10-Miler, Half Marathon & Marathon Races

For the longer distance runDisney races, there are anywhere from 10 to 16 corrals, including an elite corral. (In 2014, runDisney added more corrals with less runners in each corral.) These corral placements can be found a few weeks prior to the race weekend on runDisney’s website or our Important Information page. Click on the race waiver, enter your information and at the bottom of the race waiver is your bib number. Match it to the corral on the corral placement page. The corrals release around 4 minutes apart, and the release time increases as the corrals go on.

Starting in 2014, a proof of time is needed to secure a corral placement. (Anyone who does not have a valid proof of time before the deadline will be placed in the last corral.) For the 10-mile and half marathon races, the proof of time needs to be a 10K distance or longer. For the marathon, the proof of time needs to be a 10 mile race or longer. The proof of time must be from a certified race and include the name of the race, distance, time finished, city, state, and date of the race. Proof of time can be inputted during race registration or up to approximately 2 months before the race weekend.

For the most part, runners are placed in a corral with those who have similar paces. Since corrals are based off of your proof of race time, you should be in a corral with other runners who have completed a race (in the last 1.5 years) close to your proof of time. Even with the new proof of time submission, there have been people placed in the incorrect corral. Unfortunately there is NO way to change this, even if it was runDisney’s error.

Another thing to note is that the corrals change each race based on the number of participants, number of corrals and field of the runners. For example, during the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend, a 2:30 half marathon time may put you farther back than the Princess Half Marathon Weekend where there tend to be more beginner runners. Although you can use a previous year’s corral placement to estimate your corral, it can change until the official corral placements are announced by runDisney.


runDisney Challenges

These back-to-back race challenges are a very popular addition to the runDisney race schedule! Since you will be running at least two (or possibly four) races, you will see many corrals. For all challenges, you will be given a letter on your bib that corresponds to your corral.

For the Rebel Challenge, Glass Slipper Challenge, Pixie Dust Challenge and Dumbo Double Dare, there will be two letters on your bib. The first is your corral for the 10K and the second is your corral for the half marathon. For Goofy’s Race and a Half Challenge, there will be one letter that corresponds to your corral for both the half marathon and marathon. For the Dopey Challenge, the first bib will have your corral for the 5K and 10K, and the second bib will have your corral for the half marathon and marathon.

It appears that runDisney purposely “pushes” the challenge runners back a few corrals, especially during the Dopey Challenge. We assume this is because they anticipate the runners will be running a little slower due to the back-to-back races. While this may not be the case, the “push back” appears to be common during the challenge corral placements.

runDisney Corrals

While the addition of a proof of time to be seeded in a corral was a great change, it is quite disheartening that corrals can no longer be changed at the Expo. From a race director perspective, we understand that changing a lot of runners would be difficult and could potentially “clog” the smaller corrals. However, we have heard from a handful of runners who were placed in the wrong corral despite sending runDisney an updated proof of time and having the documentation as such.

The most important aspect to remember when it comes to corrals is the ultimate reason behind them – runner safety. The wave start allows the course to handle the large number of runners a little more easily. The pacing requirements for each corral help to keep similar paced runners together, reducing trampling, etc. No matter what, the goal of a runDisney race is to have fun – no matter what corral you are in!


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runDisney Training – Jumping to the Next Distance

When your running journey begins, it usually starts small. You begin by training for a 5K. Then maybe you work toward a 10K. Next may be a 10-miler.

runDisney Training: Jumping to the Next Race Distance

But how do you know you are ready to tackle some of the longer distances? Here is a look at a few questions to ask yourself to see if you are ready to jump to the next race distance!

Has your training been consistent? While it is tempting to start training for a longer distance after catching the “running bug”, you need to make sure that your training has been consistent. It is recommended that runners have been running at least 6 months, with training of at least 3 runs per week in place prior to training for the longer distances. If you are thinking about a marathon, more running experience definitely helps as well. Make sure that your body is used to a consistent training plan before jumping to the bigger race distances!

Do you have the time to devote to longer distances? Training for a half marathon, marathon or even a runDisney challenge means a lot of time on the road! Make sure that you do a little research about how much time your long runs will take you during the weekends (along with your weekday runs) and see if your schedule can handle it. For those jumping to the marathon distance, not only will your long runs be 2, 3 or even 4 hours in length, your weekday runs may be over an hour as well.

Can your body handle the longer distances? One thing we all want to avoid is injury. If your body tends to have quite a few aches and pains during the shorter distances, definitely set up an appointment with your doctor to see if your body is ready for the longer distances. While training for a longer distance, pay even closer attention to your body, making sure you give it rest when it needs it. It will be taking quite the pounding as you increase the mileage!

Is your mindset ready for the training? While it may seem simple to add on mileage to reach your next race distance, you need to make sure that your mindset is in the right place. Think about the reasons WHY you want to take on the next distance (specifically the marathon distance). The right motivation is what will get you through those long runs for weeks on end! (Note: You have to WANT to train for the distance for the training and race to go well. Don’t do it just because everyone else is!)

Do you have a support system in place? When jumping to the next distance, you are headed into brand new territory. Hours on the road. Finding the right fuel. New aches and pains. Possibly even tears. Having a support system to encourage and motivate you is key! Whether it is a running buddy or group to help you through the long runs or even a family member to send you motivating texts, the support will keep you going when it gets tough.

2014 WDW Marathon Weekend

Working toward the next race distance can be tough yet extremely rewarding! In the words of Walt Disney, “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” Just remember to take everything at your OWN pace. Work toward a distance that is doable for you. Every accomplishment is wonderful, and even magical when it’s during a runDisney race!

Throughout these blog posts, we will cover all aspects of training from our own personal experience. Please note that we are not medical doctors, personal trainers, registered dietitians or in any way qualified to give individualized recommendations. If you have something you would like us to address, please send an email to!