Work Your Edge

August 11, 2014

“Work your edge.”

There is power in those words.

This phrase is something one of my instructors at Barre3 has been saying during class to us lately. {I joined Barre3 in July to incorporate more strength training into my weekly schedule and to focus on all those areas where runners are often weak, such as glutes, hips, core, hamstrings and upper body. I absolutely love it, by the way, and have been going 2 days a week.}

Work your edge on

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to work your edge. This is what it means to me:

  • When you reach what you perceive to be your limit, push a little harder for a few more seconds. We always have a few more seconds to give.
  • Don’t quit just because it is hard. The hard is what makes you stronger.
  • Get the most out of your workout – find one more gear.
  • Get more comfortable with being uncomfortable.
  • You are stronger than you think. Prove it.

To me, working your edge is all about believing you are strong and showing that strength. It’s about doing what we say we’re going to do. It is about never giving up. It’s about finding that place where you think you might die, but also seeing it through to the finish because the payoff is always better than giving up or giving in.

With 8 more weeks until the Chicago Marathon, I’m going to work my edge. I’m going to find that inner strength – that next level I’m not sure is always there – and be proud of my effort.

Here is what last week’s training looked like.

  • Monday: 8.01-mile easy run
  • Tuesday: AM: 5.5 miles of speed work, including 6 x 800-meters at 6:35/mile pace with a slow 400-meter recovery jog between each/PM: 1 hour of Zumba with my good friend Jeanine who has been trying to get me to take a class with her for a year
  • Wednesday: 1 hour Barre3 strength work
  • Thursday: Botched tempo run – I planned to run 7 to 8 miles with 5 to 6 miles at marathon pace. I waited to run until after work. When I got on the treadmill a really bad storm started. 3.5 miles into the run, the power went out and the treadmill shut off. I was really disappointed because I was feeling great, but apparently this run just wasn’t meant to be.
  • Friday: 7 easy solo miles
  • Saturday: 14.5 hilly and extra humid miles at an average of 8:44 pace. Despite nearly 3,000 feet of total climbing during the run, we managed to run the second half of the run in the 8:30s and 8:20s which I was happy about. After the run, I walked an additional 1.5 miles as a cool down
  • Sunday: AM: 5-mile recovery run; PM: 1 hour Barre3

Total miles: 43.51 + 3 hours of cross training

What does “work your edge” mean to you? How did your week of training go last week? What is your goal for this week?


Kimberly @ Healthy Strides

My current training plan is making me work the edge! I think the phrase means much of what you say. It’s hitting the point where you think your limits are and then going beyond. I think strides at the end of a workout are a great way to do it!


great phrase — i’m going to spend some time thinking about that one over my miles this evening…


We talk a lot about finding your edge in yoga, too. For me, it’s that space between comfort and discomfort – like you said, pushing just a little bit beyond your limit.

My goal for this week is to get back to my long runs.


I LOVE your description Jenn — the space between comfort and discomfort. Awesome. Good luck with your long run this weekend. xo

Abby @ BackAtSquareZero

I have never heard this phrase before, but I love it. Great mantra.


Oh yes, working the edge! It comes in handy but boy is it HARD. That’s a great way to put it though. Looks like you’re getting there and digging in with some great workouts. That’s crazy about the treadmill and the power?? I’ve never heard of that happening!! And…how did you enjoy Zumba? :-)))


Thanks Allie! Zumba was fun. We sweat a lot. Since I had run a hard workout that morning, my legs were tired for it, but it was still really fun. I am not good at it, however 😉


Never heard this before, but I love it. I’m currently 4 months past my 4th csection and life has been nuts, but it’s time to get my butt back in gear. Pushing myself and stop skipping workouts!


Wow, Jen! Congrats. You have been busy 🙂 Congrats on the arrival of your new baby! I know you will get on track! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts! xo

Carly @ Fine Fit Day

Awesome job on the hilly long run! I also love your interpretation of ‘work your edge’. Especially ‘we always have a few more seconds to give.’

Gabrielle from Austria

Another great article, Jesica! Thank you!
You are so right, a few seconds…. I’ll rememer that!
I have the tendency to settle in mediocrity. Yes, probably I’m stronger than I think.
My goal of this week is to be consistent with my strength training and stretching.


Thank you Gabrielle! I appreciate your kind words. I know you are stronger than you think. Good luck with getting that strength training and stretching this week.


Hi, new follower! I found you via Hungry Runner Girl.
You’ve done a ton of tri’s! I just did my first Oly recently. Nice to meet you!
This is a great reminder. Working your edge to me means finding new limits, working what you think is your edge provides you the means to then find a new limit, or a new edge… to continue working.


Hi Carolyn! Thank you so much for stopping by! I really appreciate it and love meeting other runners and triathletes! Congrats on completing your first Olympic! Awesome job! I look forward to checking out your blog. Great to meet you virtually. Keep up the great work. xo

Leslie @ Triathlete Treats

Great phrase!! Love it!! You absolutely have to work harder to get stronger!