After basically taking a year off from running, I’m FINALLY getting back to it! I’ve tried several times over the year, but I felt like either my body wasn’t ready for it or my head just wasn’t in it – which was fine, I just tried to focus on staying active in other ways. About a month ago I started back up, and talk about feeling defeated! I could barely run a mile at the pace a ran a whole marathon. Thankfully, it’s alllll starting to come back and I have been able to start increasing distance and gradually getting closer to my old paces. Hopefully I’ll be able to keep up with my old running buddies soon!
Now that I’m back to being able to run somewhat consistently – I’m super excited to start training for a race again! While I want to eventually run another marathon, I decided to start with a half and just see how the training goes. I’ll be running the Austin Half Marathon in February! I began training for this race a couple years ago and ended up not being able to run it because of a small injury, so I’m pretty pumped to give it another shot.
Signing up for another race means having to get back into a training routine, which for me, means lots of early morning runs. It’s not always easy to force myself to go to sleep early or drag myself out of bed before 5am – it takes quite a bit of discipline and dedication. Here are a few tips that I’ve found helpful in finding and sticking to a training routine!
- Figure out the reason you are doing it… For me, it’s a combination of my love of running and just simply wanting to stay healthy and active. It’s super important to me (and Matt) to set an example of an active lifestyle for our kids. It’s also super important to me to stay active so that as my kids get older I am still able to do things with them – run, hike, ski, or whatever other adventure we can come up with. I love committing to races because it gives me short term goals that will eventually lead to this long term goal of mine!
- Find a friend or community. I feel like this is a super important piece of being able to stick to a routine. Over the years, I’ve found a few good running friends. It’s SO helpful to have people to schedule workouts with, find encouragement from on a rough day and to hold you accountable to sticking to your plan. I’ve found that it’s much easier to get myself up at 4:30AM when I know that I’ve committed to meeting someone.
- Hire a coach! With the world of social media we are living in, there are a TON of online coaching/training programs, many that are very affordable. While you have to be careful to find someone that really knows what they are doing, having a coach can be a game changer. I love having a week of workouts planned out for me – it breaks the whole race/training goals down in to small goals (I’m all about the idea of doing small things that with consistency add up to something big!). My workouts vary including long runs to build cardio and distance, recovery miles and interval training designed to help increase speed. For this race, I’m working with my sweet friend, Abby. I have been running with Abby for years, but she recently decided to venture into coaching and I’m super excited about it! She’s one of the toughest athletes and has achieved some big things (including qualifying for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii) all while being mom to two awesome girls AND working full time. You can look her up on IG (@aamultisport). I love that I can program the workouts she gives me into my watch – It gives the workout to me step by step and can tell me when to speed up or slow down if I’m doing a paced run!
I get asked all the time about running accessories, so I’m going to link a few below! A recent find that I’m pretty excited about it this running light. Running before the sun comes up requires running with a light of some sort and for the longest time, I’ve run with a headlamp. The good ole headlamp went out and I found this awesomeness to replace it! I love that it goes over the shoulder and around the chest and it’s SO BRIGHT, which is really nice considering how clumsy I am!