Training for your Marathon in a Month: Making your plan

Before you start running…

People who succeed at running have a clear plan of where they are heading. Do you know where you are going? The best way to kickstart your July of running is to spend 1 hour this evening getting your head in the right space. I'm giving you a night off running.

You don’t even need to feel guilty about it. This will stand to you more than any run you do this month.

There are 3 steps to this little exercise and at the end of it you will be motivated to put on your running shoes:

Step 1: Set your July goal

You need a challenge that will keep you motivated to run on the days when it’s easy to make an excuse.

The challenge should be realistic but a little bit outside your comfort zone. The challenge needs to be scary enough make you stick to your plan and not miss a run.

It also needs to be realistic. Don’t set yourself up for failure.

Step 2: Get a plan in place

Work out what’s needed to get you to your goal. Be realistic about the time you can dedicate.

Filter in holidays, exams, work deadlines and the usual July activities into the plan.

Do not schedule runs on days when you know you will be recovering from a wedding or rushing to get a project complete. Whatever plan you intend to follow, write it down.

Work back from your challenge date and slot in all non-running events, holidays and deadlines.

See your July availability on one page and then add in your runs. Looking at your plan on one sheet of paper makes it real and slightly less daunting.

Step 3: Make it real

Make yourself accountable. Once your goal is on paper and you have a realistic plan in place, tell your family and friends.

Print out the plan and put it somewhere you will see it every day. The more people that know, the less likely you are to skip a run.

You might even encourage others to join you, sponsor your or maybe even get a running buddy for the month.

If you do follow these 3 steps you will feel like you suddenly have control over your July and your running.

Running doesn’t have to take over your life, but if you don’t make time for it and plan it up front, there will always be something else to take priority. The month will pass regardless.

Make the most of the bright days. Pick a challenge, write it down, get a plan in place and tell someone who will help you keep on track.