fitness · healthyliving

Training – Staying Focused

Good morning, everyone!

I hope you are all having a lovely Tuesday morning!  Mine started off, as usual, with a workout!20140729-085441-32081949.jpgI’m officially over halfway through my marathon training season!  I can’t believe it — the nerves are just slightly starting to kick in.  It’s a good thing I have my coffee and yummy breakfast to help me center myself and share with you some of the ways I will be staying focused the rest of the journey.20140729-085441-32081109.jpgCoffee, strawberries, and pomegranate Greek yogurt. 

Tips for Staying Focused and Finishing Training Strong:

1. Stick With A Routine.  If you typically workout at the same time each day, continue to do so.  Now isn’t the time to be changing things up unless, for example, you currently train in the evening and your race begins at 6:30 AM.

2. Refresh Your Mind, Visualize, and Stay Positive.  Change your thoughts, change your life!  Try yoga or meditation to help clear your mind of the negativity and allow positive thoughts to flow through your body.  It sounds cheesy, but positive self-talk can be incredibly beneficial.  Visualize yourself achieving your training goals (crossing the finish line, lifting that new weight, etc.) and give yourself a few positive affirmations to get you there.  I tell myself things like this:

You are strong.  You have what it takes to accomplish this.

Trust your training.  Trust your muscles.  

You are blessed with this ability.  Not everyone has the ability to do what you’re doing. 

3  Tell Friends and Family.  By telling others what you’re doing and what your goals are, you are creating a sense of accountability.  For example, if I tell my sister that I have a 10 mile training run the next morning, I’m more likely to get it done without even giving it a second thought.  This is also a great time to find friends and family who want to run part of your long runs with you 🙂

4. Set Short-Term Goals and Be Flexible.  I create a workout plan at the beginning of each week with the goal of finishing all of them.  Yes, I have my master training plan thanks to Hal Higdon’s Novice 1 plan, but I know that life happens and I accept it.  I look at my schedule, look at my master training plan, and see how those runs will fit into the week.  If I know I have an early appointment in the morning of a mid-length run, I either plan to set my alarm earlier or switch it with another short-run day.  Make your training plan work for YOU.

5.  Think About Why.  Why did you decide you wanted to accomplish this goal?  For example, I chose to run another marathon because I enjoy the disciplined work that comes with training, the sense of camaraderie and community on the course, and the amazing feeling of “Holy crap did I really just finish that?!” that comes with crossing the finish line.  There’s a reason WHY you wanted to do this, think about it and how you will feel when you accomplish your goal!

There are still so many miles and so many things to do before race day (even silly things like create a new playlist!), but the above points are how I will make sure that I will finish my race strong, happy, and feeling accomplished. 

What tips do you have for staying focused during a training plan?  

If you are currently training or are thinking about training for a particular event or goal, what are you most excited about?  What are you most anxious or nervous about?

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