On a Monday my twitter and Instagram feed fills up with ‘Medal Monday’ – pictures of people and their medals from the various events that they’ve taken part in that weekend. There’s been a few half and full marathons locally and I always enjoy seeing the wide range of people who are achieving their goals by completing these events.
I hope to one day do a half marathon, but realistically, right now, I just don’t have the time to devote to a full training schedule; life is pretty full-on and something has to give somewhere in life and that thing at the moment is me selfishly following my own goals.
That said, I do manage to get out and run across the week, maybe for 3-5 miles at a time and this keeps me working towards other targets I’m working on. I think it’s important to set targets for any fitness journey, and of course celebrating reaching those targets!
Here are my tips for staying on track.
Set long term, medium and short term targets
I have written before about setting myself monthly targets with the Race at Your Pace monthly challenges. These help me to keep going and hit those monthly targets that I have set myself. It isn’t always easy and there have been challenges across the year with the weather that have made it difficult but it’s helped to keep me going having made the commitment each month.
My medium-term challenge was to get a faster 5km time, which I managed in the summer, and to get my 10k to under 60 minutes (still working on this one) Longer term I want to complete a half marathon.
Reward the little wins
It really helps to reward those little wins, so when you meet the goal then reward yourself! Maybe it’s a new pair of leggings or a top you have been after that you can treat yourself too, or perhaps those new trainers once you’ve managed to hit your distance target. Or perhaps for achieving one of those long term targets, it requires a bigger gift like something from the diamond collection at F Hinds I know when I eventually get that half marathon under my belt I’ll be celebrating!
Mix up what you do
It can get a bit boring doing the same things all the time so mix it up. Run with friends, try a different ParkRun, head to the gym instead of out on the roads of even something as simple as running a completely different route to usual. I also find that listening to different podcasts can help me feel like I’m doing something different, plus it can be a way to settle my breathing as I get into the run.
Also, look to try other activities such as yoga or pilates which can have an impact on fitness and strength too by working your body in a different way.
Listen to your body
Finally, I can’t stress the importance of listening to your body; when those aches and muscle tiredness becomes a bit more stubborn than usual then it might be time to take a short rest and let your body recover. In the summer I damaged one of my toenails and it was super painful to run on.
I ended up taking a couple of weeks off from longer runs and got my feet checked out by a chiropodist who gave me some great advice for looking after my feet long term.