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?
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org!