How to stay motivated and focussed on your training by Jo Pavey
Runners of all levels and experience have days when it feels tough to go out for a run. But if you can keep training consistently you’ll get the best out of your running. Setting yourself a goal, such as running The Windsor women’s 10K, is a great motivator. Having something to aim for gives you a reason to get out the door and helps to keep you focused. You may want to try to run a certain goal time or maybe you’re planning to complete the distance for the first time. It’s best to set yourself some mini goals along the way too, to keep your motivation going. These could be to run some shorter events like some 5Ks or to hit some target times in your workouts.
Try to get into a good routine with your training and determine what fits best with your lifestyle. Many people find that running early in the morning prevents a busy day causing them to miss their planned run. Running early can also provide a sense of accomplishment, by getting some miles in before everyone is starting their day. Running in a lunch break may fit best for some runners. Whereas if you can sometimes do some running in the evening your body is likely to feel more ready to push the pace of some runs.
Plan a training schedule that works for you and one that progresses towards race day in a sensible way. Following a well planned schedule makes it feel like your training has more purpose. It’s very motivating to monitor your progress along the way too. Keeping a record of your running using a training diary is a good idea as you can then look back at how far you’ve come. When setting your schedule, it’s important to ensure that it’s realistic, otherwise it could leave you feeling overwhelmed rather than motivated and could also lead to injury if it builds up too quickly. Make sure your schedule fits with your busy lifestyle, is well thought out and builds up sensibly. Being a runner should be enjoyable, so if you find your motivation dipping, try to find ways to make your training fun and interesting. Try some new running routes and take the time to run in beautiful locations when possible. Running amongst lovely scenery gives you a real lift. It can be worth the drive to get to a great location where you haven’t run before. Also remember the fantastic benefits running gives to your physical and mental health. I find getting out for a run gives me a real boost and makes me feel more ready to face life’s challenges. If you’re struggling to get out for your run, remind yourself of how much better you’ll feel when you’ve completed it. Running with others is also a great motivator. If you’ve arranged to meet someone for a run, you won’t give it a second thought as you won’t want to let them down. Joining a running group is a good way to make running more sociable and create new friendships. It’s nice to have the feeling of camaraderie as you aim for your fitness goals.
Cross training activities such as spinning, swimming or aqua running can be added to your schedule to mix things up a bit whilst still promoting fitness. Maybe add some different training types to your schedule too. For example, Fartlek training which involves varying the pace during a run could sometimes be used in place of a typical interval workout.
If you’re a busy parent consider getting out and being active as a family, it’s a fun way to enjoy quality family time whilst keeping your training going too. My kids love to ride alongside on their bikes when I’m running and they often do a bit of running themselves too.
As you progress your training towards race day, it’s important to remember that any schedule should be thought of as a flexible plan. There will of course be days when you feel unduly tired or unwell or you’ve got a niggle. Altering your schedule or taking an extra rest day when you need to is not wimping out. Being sensible and listening to your body improves the consistency of your training and makes your running more enjoyable in the long term, especially when you’re able to complete the event that you were targeting.
Taking part in events such as The Windsor women’s 10k is definitely a way to find enjoyment from running. It’s so uplifting to run with so many other runners all aiming for their own personal goals and there’s such a great atmosphere. It will certainly remind you of why you love running.
Enter the Windsor Women’s 10k today, Jo Pavey will be starting the race and then joining in the race as well.