1. Eat. Seems simple enough. Right? Wrong. My eating, (and ahem, drinking) drastically effect my running efforts. I ate for my long run Sunday, by starting Saturday, and skipping the wine, banging out 14 miles felt damn good. Kept on the healthy clean eating train and again skipped my night cap glass of wine and today adding another 5 miles still felt incredible. Am I always this on track? No. But these last six weeks before the marathon I need this kind of focus.
2. Plan. Yeah, I know I can be totally OCD with my planning. From my day schedule plan (yes stored in the notepad in my phone) to my food plan (yes my Sunday routine is an absolute must for me) to my training plan (I use trainingpeaks.com and LOVE them). Do you need to be crazy OCD? No. But the better the planning, the easier the training.
3. Stretch. I am the worst about this. I don’t stretch before. I don’t stretch after. And I ache because of it. But I do try to do 30 minutes of yoga every morning, and before we got this
damn dog and she ate TWO foam rollers, I foam rolled all the time.
4. Rest Days. I rest two days a week (and sometimes 3 if I feel like I need it). And no, I don’t mean I lie around like a giant lazy ass, I usually get out and walk or go for an easy bike ride or spin or do Pilates and still try to get yoga in.
5. Sleep. I don’t follow this rule well. I get roughly 6 hours of sleep each night. The more I run, the deeper I sleep, and as my miles increase so do the hours my body requires of sleep.
6. Stay Positive. This is hard for me. I get so wrapped up in my own self doubt, my own worries, and second guessing that I often get in my own way. I need to constantly remind myself that I am doing this for me, cause it’s what I enjoy and just doing it is all I can expect from myself. PR or barely crawl over the finish, doesn’t matter, what matters is finishing.
7. Motivation. Find something that motivates you and focus on it. Find a reason to run and let that carry you through the rough runs. Focus on that. Fill yourself up with the reason to keep going. And do.
9. Gear. Running seems like it should be cheap. Running shoes and boom, you run. Not quite the case. First, good running shoes cost a bundle. Then you add on socks, shorts/pants/capris depending on the weather, tanks/tees/sweatshirts/jackets, then hats, gloves… And that’s just to get outside. Now add on a GPS device, some sort of music, good ear buds. Then a cool OGIO bag, I mean any bag, to pack all your crap. And we still haven’t mentioned fueling options, water bottles/fuel belts, race entry fees, hotel stays, travel… The list goes on…
10. Don’t over think it. Go run. Enjoy yourself. Find your happiness. My happy is at 26.2 miles. Yours may be at 3.1 or at 50. Find what you feel good doing. And do it! Don’t compare yourself to everyone else. Don’t focus on your flaws. Find great peace in what you are good at. Find peace period.