Nought to marathon: Getting Out to Run
We're running Paris Marathon to prove that you can go from nothing to marathon runner in less than 5 months. Today, I'm talking all about my first challenge: getting out and running despite everything around me convincing me otherwise.
Having run a marathon once before, I know that it is no easy challenge. Especially considering when I ran Amsterdam it was on very little training and I had just got back from a month in Tanzania with little to no sleep. It's no surprise that I came away from that experience sad and disappointed, yet really keen to take on another challenge as I knew I could do better.
After another exciting and inspiring marathon weekend, I found myself completing the Paris Marathon registration with Sam. I knew that I had a lot of work in front of me if I wanted to smash my goal of 4:30, wiping almost an hour off my previous marathon time. So after registering my first port of call was to find a training plan and actually start to stick to it.
My go-to was Asics, as it's been recommended to me on several occasions. It gives you the opportunity to input your goal, and how much you'll be able to commit to training before designing a plan that can suit you. Once your plan is up and running, you can print in and stick it around your room (for added motivation) or download the app where you can log your runs. It even gives you the opportunity to log a rest day, which for me is a great feature as I still feel like I'm ticking something off my list by not doing anything at all.
I'm now about a month or so into my training, and although when I'm actually out running I'm fine, I'm very much struggling with the actual act of getting out and getting my running done. The weather, and my busy Christmas/birthday/wedding calendar at the moment makes things even more difficult. So I've come up with certain ways in which to get me out of the house and hopefully they'll help you too.
1. Reminding myself of the cause:
I've signed up to run for Age UK as it's a cause I'm extremely passionate about and want to raise funds and awareness for. I find that simply wearing my Age UK running vest is enough to remind myself that ultimately I'm not doing this for me, I'm doing it for the 1.4 million older people out there who find that Christmas passes them by because their days are so lonely or repetitive. But that's not the only way you can motivate yourself. There are so many resources for each charity online, why not research some of the work they are currently funding or watch a video about their impact? It's sure to remind you about why you signed up in the first place and not only get you out the door, but also around that extra few minutes of running that you can push through if you can.
2. Starting with just 5 minutes:
When it's miserable out, it's really hard to get yourself out of the door when you know you're going to be out for at least an hour and it's going to be cold and wet and just simply not pleasant. So by simply saying I'll go for 5 minutes really does make all the difference, it gets me going and by the time I've done 5 minutes I'll say "I can't just do 5 minutes, I may as well go for longer".
3. Killing 2 Birds with 1 stone:
As I walk to and from work each day, it's quite easy for me to substitute my walk with a run instead. It motivates me to get out and do it as I'm needing to do the journey anyway, it'll help me get there quicker and I can tick of a 3 mile run when I'm finished.
4. Finding a Mate
I'm lucky that several of my friends and family enjoy running too. When I head home for the weekend, and I know I want to do a run, I often make a plan with my Mum to go and do one. Making a plan seems to set it in stone and I'll be less likely to cancel it all. I also find simply telling others that I'm going for a run can make me stick to it. So it helps having signed up with Sam, being able to motivate each other to get out on runs whether that be together or not is something I'm very glad to have this time around.
Ultimately, if these top tips can get me out running in the wind, rain and cold in the video below, it should hopefully get you out running too!