This year I finally experienced what everyone means when they say they’re experiencing “runners high”. I’ve always been one to do yoga or pilates, but running is my newfound workout of choice. The endorphins, the energy, and sense of accomplishment after a good run is unmatched. Going for a run every single day makes me feel productive and like I’ve accomplished something for myself that day, which is super important to me right now. I had briefly shared on Instagram that I’m training for a half marathon, because running has been entirely life changing—it’s the best! I love how running mimics life—you have to pace yourself, find your rhythm, and with consistency you’ll reach your goal. I wanted to share with you some things that I’ve learned while training for the half marathon and that will be helpful if you ever decide to do the same! Trust me, running is so good for the mind, body, and soul.
Choose the Right Sneakers
This is key! You can’t have a successful run or training session without the right sneakers. You’ll want to start with comfort, of course, and make sure that there are no gaps or extra tight areas. If your foot doesn’t comfortably sit in the middle of the sneaker, it’s not for you. The second most important thing to keep in mind is the outer sole of the shoe. You’ll want something with enough traction for different surfaces and provides a whole lot of stability. The last thing you want is to slip and slide in the middle of your run.
Find Your Stride
No one runs the same—no one. The key to a successful run and efficient marathon training is finding your right stride. Your right stride will likely be different than others running around you, and that’s totally fine. If you’re struggling to complete your ideal distance, your stride is probably off. The wrong stride can make you tried, stress out your muscles, and hinder you from going the distance. You need to play around with this! Try switching up your arm movements, speed, and keep an eye on how your feet are hitting the ground.
Incorporate Different Workouts
When training for a marathon, you can do exercises that don’t involve running. Get in a good jump roping session, or hop on a cycling bike. You can also do other workouts such as pilates and yoga which are great for stretching out your muscles too. Not only will this help tone and strengthen your body, it’ll help give your body a break from running long distances, which is also necessary.
Track Your Heart Rate
Keeping track of your heart rate while doing any type of exercise is essential. Your heart rate is a great indicator of your body’s progress and how much it improves with more practice. You can track your heart rate with a monitor or even a smartwatch, which makes it even easier for you to see as you run. This is a great way to hold yourself accountable too!
Increase Your Mileage
As you train, you’ll want to gradually increase your mileage. However, this is tricky territory. You have to find a sweet spot to start at the right mileage and you don’t want to increase it by too much when you’re ready. This can be hard on your body and can mess with your confidence if the mileage is too much. Give yourself enough training time to take it easy and take it slow.
Find An Accountability Partner
If you have a friend that is also training or on a fitness journey, then reach out and ask if you can help keep each other accountable. Just like with anything in life, it’s nice to know you’re not alone and the extra motivation from a friend who is on the same journey can be super helpful. Maybe even reach out to someone who has ran a marathon in the past and ask if they have any advice and tips. They can guide you in the process and lead the way on your marathon journey. I am very thankful for Emily Zimmerman, Christy Turlington, Melissa Berger, and Alexis Stoudemire who have been great resources for me during this training.
If You Take A Break… It’s Okay!
Don’t beat yourself up for falling out of a routine. Tust me, some days I just want to enjoy the summer sun and spend time with the kiddos at home. Treat these breaks as a gift. You’ve earned it and your body needs rest. When you get back to it, it feels like a welcomed return!
If you don’t believe that you can do this then no one will! Practice telling yourself some positive affirmations about your marathon training. This will get your mind and your spirit in the right place and ready for whatever’s coming. Below are some affirmations to repeat yourself during training and on marathon day.
- I can do this.
- My body is built for this.
- My body will thank me for this.
- I am proud of myself.
- I’m so ready for this.
- Today I Can.