2. H2O is the way to go. Think of water as your best friend. You wouldn't go longer than 60 minutes without paying attention - texting - to them, would you? Even if you're not thirsty or don't think you need water, you do! Your body is exerting sweat (losing fluid) so you must replenish with water to keep you from staying dehydrated. According to LiveStrong:
"Aim for 17 to 20 ounces a couple of hours before your workout and then 8 ounces 20 to 30 minutes before you start. When in motion, plan for 7 to 10 ounces for every 10 to 20 minutes of exercise and then cool down with 8 ounces within at least 30 minutes after a workout. Investing in a water bottle with measurement markings can help you ensure that you're drinking enough."
3. Set (realistic) goals for yourself. There is a time and place to pretend you're Superwoman, but when it comes to your fitness, leave your cape at home. Disappointment and failure lead to resentment!
4. Since when did walking get such a bad rap? I use to think that walking during a run was an excuse to give up and take the easy route, but that mindset changed when I was halfway through my marathon training. I began to walk every so often to a) stretch b) catch my breath c) drink water or d) take a mental break. I noticed that my time didn't slow down at all because when I started running again, I felt replenished and kept a steady and at times even faster pace. It also broke up the run into smaller increments, making it mentally easier to push through - "In 2 more miles, I can walk for 1 minute."
5. "It's really important for players to participate in other sports - whether it's indoor lacrosse or soccer to baseball." - Wayne Gretzky. We've all heard that you're suppose to "listen to your body", but personally, my stubbornness usually speaks louder to my ears. It's a challenge but so important to both cross train AND take rest days. Maybe your body doesn't need it, but your mind does. Find an activity that you enjoy doing (other than running) and add it to your weekly workouts. Need ideas? Here are 16 Cross-Training Activities for Runners!
6. Time/Distance. If you're getting burnt out and starting to dread longer distance runs, switch it up and focus on time. For example, instead of saying "I have to run 6 miles today", set out and run for 60 minutes. This puts the pressure off of mileage and let's you set your own pace and mindset.
7. Sir Mix-Up-Your-Routes-A-Lot. While I love routine, I also love switching it up every now and then to stay somewhat sane. Whether it be searching the internet for new trails in your neighborhood or hopping on the treadmill for an interval workout, being flexible and open to new ways and places to run is quite refreshing and exciting (especially if you live in an area with scenic views!). Pinterest has plenty of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) plans but I've created one for you, too!
I had fun putting together (and testing) this workout, so if you try it and enjoy it, let me know! Maybe I'll start creating more?!
8. Schedule that Double Cheeseburger and Fries for after your run. If you want to stay away from bushes/gas stations/or porta potties, think smart about what you're eating prior to a run. A balanced and nutritious diet can determine the type of run you have. Think about greasy food moving around in your stomach while you pound the pavement. If your nose is scrunched up and the thought of it makes your stomach hurt, then there's your confirmation to plan out your "cheat days" around your runs.
9. "Fast Five" and keep them close by. Write down five reasons why you run and post them in a place you often pass by. This could be on your bedroom door, your bathroom mirror, in your planner, or even on the dash of your car. Seeing these multiple times a day will help keep you motivated and on track to meet your goals!
10. Pump and eat iron. Without going into much detail, marathon training did a number of things on my body, causing doctor appointments after doctor appointments with still no answer to a current problem I currently have. It is VERY common for runners to have an iron deficiency but is something that we must stay on top of. Low iron causes fatigue and other serious health problems so if you are experiencing a change in your body, see a doctor immediately so you don't do any further damage to yourself. Also, don't forget to pump that iron! It is essential to pay attention to and build up your muscle so they are able to properly support your bones while running.