Training for your Marathon in a Month: Keeping on track

Keep on track as the month goes on

We are all so good at making excuses; there will always be something else that you 'could' be doing instead of the running.

Stay motivated

People thing as a running coach I wake up every morning full of running energy - not quite true - we all have days where we don’t want to get out there. The trick is to find something that will make you go out and run.

For me, the best motivators are:

  • Going with someone else. When you have a prearranged time to meet someone, you will be there.
  • Get up and dressed into your running gear, you are far more likely to go out if you are in the clothing.
  • Trying a new route: run somewhere different or even reverse the route you normally do.
  • Remembering you always feel better after a run. Just get yourself out the door, or better still have someone else in the house warned to kick you out when you start making excuses.

Trick your brain

As the numbers get bigger, the running minutes can seem a bit overwhelming. If you are positive about what’s ahead, you are more likely going to do it.

Try breaking up your run mentally into small chunks of 5 minutes. It’s all about tricking your head into making the run seem manageable. Believing you can do it is half the battle.

Keep positive in your head, and the legs will follow. As soon as you start to get negative, slow down your pace, start thinking of your technique, relax a little and say to yourself ' I just need to get through this minute' you will be surprised by the time to get to the end to the minute you will be back feeling strong.

My final trick for the head is to smile - even if you don’t feel like smiling - and it will help you relax, feel taller and more positive - try it. You are so lucky to be able to get out there and run. Be grateful you can do this.

No one is making you do it - you are in a lucky position to be able to be out there. Enjoy it!

Add variety

Variety is the key to keeping your running interesting and also to making you stronger. If you always do the same run, at the same pace, at the same location, the body will get used to it, and your training will stagnate.

There are lots of ways of adding in variety to the run.

Firstly, nice and simple, change up your route. It can be as simple as doing the reverse route to normal, or trying somewhere completely different – we can get bored of running the same route, so add in variety that way.

Try also running on different surfaces – grass, sand, trail can all make a pleasant change from a footpath.

Finally now that you are well into your running routine you could try experimenting with different speeds on the run. Challenge yourself to get a little faster and stronger. Any kind of variety in your run will help keep you inspired and motivated to keep going.