Alright, let’s face it…training for a half marathon(or any sort of fitness) requires SERIOUS motivation…and a LOT of dry shampoo 😉 Truly, though, here are some ways that I motivate myself. Today I had a 12 miler on the plan and was nervous.
It was the farthest distance I have run since my half on April 14. It required a lot of motivation. Anyway, here are some tips:
1. New gear! A few days ago I got the new Brooks Ghosts! Yay!
I am rotating between these and my old pink ones (was getting a little tired of pink) and need to wear these for runs longer than 8.
My toes do this horrible/weird thing: my feet must swell late in my run and one by one, starting with my piggie toe, they become numb mile-by-mile! Argh. So, the Brooks Ghost have a wider toe box which usually helps with this. Making matters worse, you know that I wear compression socks when I run to ward off shin splints/stress fractures and these complicate the “my toes are suffocating” issue. I got these newbies when I bought my new shoes (had a gift card to Philadelphia Runner from the hubs; he knows me well). In the past I have worn Zensah
and Pro Compression.
The ones I got the other day are CEP.
All three are great but have their pros and cons. The Zensah have great compression but the sock part (near the toe) are just too thick and contribute to toe suffocation. The Procompression are more comfy on my toes but the compression isn’t quite as good. Not bad but not quite as good. CEP are probably the best as they alleviate the problems of both Procompression and Zensah. Wow, that was long for one tip! OK, moving on…
2. Good music, or for me, TV! My sister turned me on to (I know, don’t judge) Drop Dead Diva after finding out that I like The Client List (again don’t judge). These are my “treadmill shows” in that they allow me to “zone out.”
3. Good fuel- I like to psych myself by saying “ok, at mile X you can eat a shot blok (as you see in the above picture). I actually LOOOOVE Clif Shot Bloks I think because they remind me of my beloved gummy candies. Experts suggest that for runs longer than an hour, begin fueling at 30 minutes, then every 15 minutes after. (Source) I tend to fuel based on how I feel, how much MOTIVATION I need, and the last time I ate before I ran.
4. Treat yourself after. For me, after a long run, I like to treat myself to a blow out. Seriously. Today, I did JUST that. Mind you the darn escalator was broken (not what my legs wanted to hear after a 12-miler).
But in all seriousness, be it your next meal, a new piece of gear, a massage, a shopping trip, or an ice cream cone, I think treating yourself is a GREAT form of motivation!
5. BREAK IT UP! I always break my runs up into smaller ones, particularly my long runs. For instance, today when I set out (FIRST MILE IS ALWAYS THE WORST), I decided to break the 12 into 4 small runs (MENTALLY). 4×3. BUT then when I got to mile 4, I upped the anti to 3 smaller runs (3×4). And when I was halfway done, two 6-milers.
6. Think AFTER.
How will you FEEL (accomplished, relaxed, high on endorphins…)?
What will you EAT (pb and j or course…)?
What will do DO TO RECOVER (stretching while inside the hot tub at the gym)?
But most of all,
7. KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE! What is your goal? General health/wellbeing? A race? Fun? Weight loss? These are always the BEST motivators, I feel.
OK, so sorry for the long rambling post, but these are my tips. What are yours?!