Are you training for a fall race? I am. I just started my training plan for my half marathon at the end of November, so it’s still fresh and exciting. But, if you’re like me, when you get about mid-way to your goal race, you start to lose momentum and it’s hard to see the point of waking up before the sun to get miles in.
Here are a few things I do to keep myself engaged in my training.
Start a Blog
Blogging about running really helps keep me motivated. I like sharing with other runners what I’m going through during a training cycle, and getting their feedback. Thinking about what I will write and how I will write about it helps keep my brain busy during runs, too.
Starting a blog is easy and free through services like WordPress.org, WordPress.com and Blogger.com. (If the idea of putting your thoughts on the Internet scares you, get a notebook start a running journal. It’s fun and motivating to be able to look back at the experiences you had during your training.)
Not sure what to write about? Write the thoughts you had while running, what you saw, how you felt. The good stuff is in the details! Knowing you will be writing about your run also helps you take better notice of what’s going on around you.
Download a Book
Some people find happiness in long, solo runs. I tend to get bored. Recently, I discovered podcasts (I know, I’m a little late to the party). I like health and fitness podcasts because I like learning while I’m on the run. Other runners I know download complete books, which reminds me of the Ryan Hall ad that aired during the Olympics. Did you see that one?
Make a New Playlist
Music that gets you excited to run can be very motivating. I used to listen to my running playlist when I wasn’t running and it would make me want to run! Keep your playlist fresh with new music that pumps you up. I love the website Jog.fm. It’s easy to search for new music, sample it and even purchase it. But my favorite feature is the ability to search for music by entering my pace!
Change Your Plan
Maybe your training plan is too intense for you right now. Maybe you are running too much. Or maybe it’s not enough running. There’s no rule that you have to stick with your training plan. Most plans have similar mileage each week, so you can easily find another plan that fits better in your life. Don’t be afraid to switch it up.
Give Yourself a Break
Training plans can be rather monotonous, and most runners are pretty strict about adhering to them. We can burn ourselves out. If you’re not feeling particularly excited about running, you might just need a short break. Taking a day or two off of running won’t hurt your training. Besides, our muscles need rest in order to rebuild themselves – resting helps us become stronger, faster runners. Read more about rest in the Runner’s World articles, “The Rest is Easy” and “Time to Rest?”
What are you training for? What ways do you keep yourself motivated during training? Leave a comment with your answers – you never know when you might be helping someone else out!