Tag Archives: training

Staying motivated when the running gets tough in marathon preparation #GCAM15

14 May

It’s a 7 week countdown now to the Gold Coast Marathon and I have struggled this week to remain motivated. The weather has gotten colder, it’s dark in the mornings and early evening and I just want to stay in bed!

I had a couple of sessions where I pushed them to later in the day rather than the morning, and a couple of sessions where I didn’t want to run – I did feel better once I was up and running though but I hate it when it is hard work to get motivated and the mileage is pretty long as the marathon edges near. I’m at about 75-80km this week.

So once again I kept going and have a few things to share below that I did that have helped me get back on track this week that might help you if you are feeling the same way. Other than that training is going ok and I am happy with my kit which I will write about soon and I’ve been using Body Glide to deal with my chafing issues and it works wonders – so happy bunny in that department :-)

Tips for staying motivated when the running gets tough in marathon preparation 

See the end goal

Post training - The Girl That Runs

Post training with my lovely friend Karen who has kept me going on the long runs with her company, jokes and encouragement!

I think I have said this in a number of posts now but it’s so true. Whenever I have felt demotivated in the last week or so I have just looked at my photos from races and put my eyes back onto the goal – the marathon. It’s been good as The Gold Coast Marathon have sent a few emails out this week so it has forced me to think about the race anyway!

Crank up the music

I am a person motivated in my running by my music – so when I feel really demotivated I crank upon the tunes. Each month I share some of my running tunes I listen to and I will be putting a list for the marathon together which I will share but I find that certain songs really lift me and push me so music has been a great motivator for me this week.

Adjust running times

Like I mentioned before I switched some of my training around so I ran later in the day rather than early in the morning and I found it worked me. Stepping outside of the door when it is sunny and warm rather than dark and cold does wonders for the motivation!

Join a group to get you through the longer runs  

I haven’t done this but I know a lot of people that when they did their marathons joined a marathon running group or a friendly running group so that they had company to run with. I have my lovely friend Karen who is running the half marathon this year who runs with me on my long runs for part of the way and makes me laugh so much I forget about the distance ,and then the other part once she is finished it’s me, the music and the open road which sometimes gives me time to reflect so not running as a group isn’t an issue for me but it might be something you find you need.

Tips for preparing 2 months before your marathon #GCAM15 #runstopshop @runstopshop

5 May Marathon Training Kit from RunStopShop - The Girl That Runs

The last week or so has been a blur with training and organising my son’s first birthday party. I never tend to do things by half so I put far too much stress on myself in preparation for his party and ended up making 4 cakes for his birthday as trial runs and they all went bad – so King of Cakes saved the day! But anyway as a result I haven’t written many blog posts lately.

Marathon training is up and down and it is now less than two months until the big day. I ran 28km on Sunday and the long runs are going up and up so all going ok at the moment but I feel like a bit of a tortoise crawling along and very tired.

I’m starting to get a bit nervous about race day and I whilst I haven’t put any pressure on myself to run a specific time it’s starting to stress me a bit and I keep thinking – what if I don’t finish!?! My last marathon was nearly 10 years ago and I was a spring chicken then, it has been so much harder training this time and yes of course I am coming back from having a baby so there is that!

Anyway here is my 2 months countdown to marathon checklist

Make sure you have entered the race!

Sounds crazy but you can get so carried away with training that it might slip your mind to actually enter the race. This should be top of your list to get done. I know with the Gold Coast their early bird entries are closed now but you can still enter – but make sure you enter whatever race it is you are doing!  Also if you need accommodation get it booked ASAP – in fact in hindsight this should have been a 3 months before… I struggled to find accommodation for the Gold Coast Marathon but my awesome travel agent managed to get me some as I didn’t fancy driving from Brisbane on the day – just another headache.

Practice in your kit

Marathon Training Kit from RunStopShop - The Girl That Runs

Marathon Training Kit sent from RunStopShop

As a RunStopShop Ambassador I got sent my Marathon Day clothes and shoes last week! and I am now busy trying them out to ensure they fit properly. The leggings were not right and the crop top was too big so I’ve had to send them back and will get replacements through shortly but I will be wearing them on most of my long runs now to ensure that I am used to them on race day.

Also if you are planning on running with energy gels start trying them out now too. As I said in my previous post 3 months before your marathon I had bad experiences with not trying out gels beforehand. Find out what the official gel for the race is and try that or choose your own but make sure you try them first.

Longer distance runs should be the norm

You should be feeling very comfortable with long runs now. I ran 28k at the weekend and I will be doing 20k this weekend and 30k the following. Depending on your program 2 months before the race your long runs should be up there too. I don’t stress about the time I do it in as I’m not trying to win the race – I just concentrate on time on legs for my long run.

Train at the time of race 

Training kit

I’m trying out all my race day kit

I have a few friends who ran a marathon a couple of years ago and they had been doing all their training very early in the morning i.e. 4am and the actual race started at 7.30am – and on the day it was an unusually warm day for that time of year and they struggled as their bodies weren’t used to running later in the morning.

I have started running later and later for some of my runs as The Gold Coast Marathon starts at 7.30amish and a lot of my runs have been either at 5am or at the gym in the evening so I am trying out running later in the morning and boy it makes a difference – I think that’s probably why I am finding it hard at the moment whilst my body adjusts to the temperature.

Massage and Physio if needed

I have started going to see my massage therapist as my calfs have been getting quite tight and I am worried I will get an injury so that has been helping, and I have friends who have their physio on speed dial during training to check out niggles they keep having. Worth considering if you are getting a few aches and pains.

Anyway the countdown is on! Less than 2 months to go until my marathon. Hope your training is going well and Happy Running :-D 

 

Please remember I am not a qualified professional when it comes to training and injuries. I write based on my experiences –  so always consult your doctor or trained professional before trying out anything new or if experiencing pain etc.

 

Training for a marathon as a new mother

20 Apr

How time flies. My son is almost one and I have been back into training for a The Gold Coast marathon in July for almost four months. I’m clocking up around 70km a week at the moment and it’s going well. I have to admit, it hasn’t been plain sailing all the way, and at times it has been quite tough. I have often wondered what on earth I am doing but I have stuck with it.

As a relatively new mum it’s a whole new experience just fitting in exercise let alone training for a 42km race. It is do-able but you have to just learn your limits and also be fair to your family and yourself. Were it not for the fact my husband is extremely patient and understanding in all of this I wouldn’t have decided to do it.

I told myself whilst pregnant I would like to do a marathon this year. I felt it would encourage me to get back into fitness. I don’t expect to do a hugely fast time and I am not putting any pressure on myself for me just being able to run one again is going to be an amazing achievement – and running the Gold Coast which is well organised and local is a definite plus.

I wanted to share some tips this week on things I have found in my training since having my baby that if you are in the same position and training for an event you might find useful. The most important thing I have found however is to enjoy it – after all the training especially for a marathon is intense and taking you away from your baby and family so it has to be something you enjoy to be worth doing in my opinion!

Tips to help you get the most out of training for a marathon as a new mother 

Mum and bub

I feel it is important to be enjoying your running as it is taking you away from your family time.

Get checked out and signed off to go

I started training again (as in not walking – I was walking after a few weeks) after 12 weeks of having my son. I didn’t push too hard and took it easy at the gym. I checked with my physio that I was ok to train and she advised it was ok but to take it easy where running was concerned for a bit longer….

I tried as long as I could to take it easy….but I must admit I did push myself back into it but wouldn’t advise anyone do that unless you know your body. Be sensible.

Prepare yourself: it’s hard work

I didn’t train during my pregnancy and a little while before as I didn’t have the best pregnancy – so it had been quite some time since I had trained and boy was it tough when I started training again. I didn’t start my marathon training until my son was roughly 8 months and before that I was struggling with my training. Once I started consistent training following a program from my trainer I found that muscle memory kicked in and whilst the first week or two were really hard my body bounced back gradually and it’s like I’m training for a marathon now not coming back from having a baby.

Don’t expect huge results over night

It does take time coming back to training after having had time off, so don’t beat yourself up if sometimes you are two steps forward one step backwards. It takes time.

Your body had just given birth to a little human being and that is quite traumatic on the body and takes time to get over. Like I said in my last post about remaining focused on training surround yourself with positive people it helps heaps. I figure that going through something like childbirth has to make me stronger right?

Keep a training log to see results

I wear my Tom Tom GPS watch at every training session both inside and outside and I can look back on how my training is going. My average km time has come down over a minute in the last couple of months so when I feel like training isn’t going well I review my training and can’t argue with the log can I? And it helps keep me on track.

There are lots of watches out there you can buy for reasonable prices or if you have a smartphone and don’t mind running with your phone then Map My Run or Strava are great apps to use instead which do the same thing. I’m not a fan of running using my phone strapped to my arm but I know a lot of people that do.

Try not to become fixated on weight

We are constantly bombarded with images of celebrities losing their baby weight in a very short time. Lara Bingle is the latest one I think in 3 weeks according to the gossip mags.

The thing I found the hardest coming back to training was losing the weight and pulling myself back into the Lycra. I was so self conscious with my baby belly and giant wobbly thighs the first time I went into the gym to train I almost didn’t go.

I soon got over it and realised that it wasn’t a big deal but that didn’t stop me from weighing myself a lot. I bought cheap workout clothes from Target telling myself I wouldn’t be in them long and I was going to achieve the weight loss I wanted to….and with the support of my family and friends I did but it didn’t happen overnight.

It took 9 months to grow my baby inside me and it took about the same time plus a month or two to get the weight back off again. Don’t feel pressured and don’t let it get you down. Once you start training and eating right the weight will come off gradually. That’s one of the advantages of a Marathon, there is a fair amount if training so I didn’t even have to really worry for too long.

Be prepared to be flexible

I have found training hard sometimes when my bub is sick or we have had a bad night and he has kept us up all night and then I am meant to then run two hours later, so I’ve learned now when that happens to compromise and not push myself to exhaustion. I sometimes take an unschedule rest day or train at a later time in the day and don’t get stressed about it.

The fact that I’m even managing the training with a baby under 1 is a miracle I think so sometimes it’s important to be flexible. I also found my Baby Jogger useful for training as when I didn’t manage to get to the gym and couldn’t train because there was no one to look after my son then out came the Baby Jogger and I ran with him and bonus – he often falls asleep!

Anyway hope these tips help and like I said the most important thing is to enjoy your training. If you arent then you might be pushing too hard or might want to speak with a qualified professional to help you work out some realistic goals or to even run with a friend to have some company :-)

As always – Happy Running :-)

Are you preparing yourself for your run?

4 Mar

This week has been tough so far and it’s only Wednesday!

Last night I had to train – I had a 7k to run followed by squats (thanks Roger!) and an hour or so before I just didn’t want to train. It’s the first time since I embarked on my marathon training that I felt like this and I really just couldn’t snap out of it. I forced myself to get dressed ready and got in the car and went to the gym – and even on the treadmill even though 7k seems relatively easy these days – (still slow but easier) mentally I struggled.Take water when you run - the girl that runs

As I got to 5k a light suddenly went on in my head. It was no wonder I was so tired and lacking energy as:

1. My little one has been sick and we have been fairly sleep deprived and I have been existing on a few hours sleep until a night or so ago so it was catching up with me;

2. I’d forgotten to have a proper lunch and had had some crackers and cheese;

3. I’d also broken the big rule of not having much water – I’d maybe had half a litre all day;

4. The biggest thing I would say that has been affecting me is since January I have consciously not been having carbs bar those in my vegetables in order to try and trim down a little bit so the marathon training was easier and I cut out wheat and all carbs – I think this has finally caught up with me in the sense it’s harder when running longer distances and needing more energy.

So with all of these things it was no wonder I was struggling and therefore lacking the energy or motivation.

I am very good at giving out advice but not always good at taking it myself so this week has been a real eye opener and I am intending on drinking more water, looking at increasing my carb levels, catching up on sleep and making sure I eat a decent lunch especially when training in the evening.

Now I am clocking up 60km a week and if you are doing the same it’s important to look after ourselves. I think sometimes for those of us/you that are parents it is easy to put yourself second but often I find when I have been racing after my son that it is easy to not have had proper food or even a cup of water all day and it catches up with you as I have found this week especially when trying to fit in an intense training program.

Anyway I just wanted to share that with you and if there is anyone in the same position I hope that sharing helped.

As always have a great week and happy running :-)

Over 50k this week and training is finally progressing!

20 Feb

This week has been a mixed week when it comes to training. I’ve got in the back of my mind that I’m running my marathon in less than 6 months and am trying to remain calm considering I’ve not been seriously training for a while. January was my ‘ok let’s kick some butt’ month and my training has been going well since.

I had a minor hiccup with socks and shoes mistakes but after a visit to the podiatrist earlier in the week I am all good and back on track and my lovely blue and pink Saucony trainers will be unfortunately going onto eBay as I can’t wear them. Back to the Kayano – not that I mind as I love the Kayano shoe – I just have a habit of ending up with the most expensive item because of some issue and this is no exception with my orthotics!

This week I clocked up over 50km – it should have been slightly more but I had a few setbacks getting back into training after having my foot strapped. I’m generally feeling good but have been very tired. Running on the treadmill sucks when doing longer distance – I did 13k last night and with the terrible rain we are having in Queensland the 15k and and 10k I have to do on Saturday and Sunday may well end up being on the treadmill too! I was lucky to be running next to a lovely girl in the gym last night and she kept me going for a fair few km! I thanked her when she finished for keeping me going :-)

In the last 6 weeks I have gone from struggling to run 5k at 8.5 on the treadmill to running 14-16km comfortably at between 9.5-9.8 on a good day so I am taking that as improvement and even managed to get to 10.5 last night when finishing off on the treadmill.

So how is your training? and what are your goals for the next month?enjoy-your-journey - thegirlthatruns.com

Here are mine:

– to get stronger in my training and not to feel like an old woman when running longer distances

– to stick to my training plan and not to be tempted to go further when feeling stronger

– to listen to my body and slow down when too tired or feeling niggles

but most of all to enjoy this journey and being able to run :-) I figure when it comes to our journey – running that is – we are in charge of the map and what we do and where we go – so enjoy it :-)

Have a great weekend! It’s going to be a wet one here!!

Happy Running :-)

Wear decent socks when running or pay the price with blisters as I discovered!

11 Feb

I made another running mistake at the weekend.

I wore old running socks.

Lightfeet socks I was running 10km and by the end I was in agony where my socks had rubbed the inner section of the foot. I had raced out of the door as I was late getting up and I hadn’t got my kit ready properly and forgot socks. It was very early so I didn’t want to disturb the family so I grabbed some old socks!

That little mistake has led to my wearing Compeed all week on the area that rubbed to ensure I could still run so I won’t be making that mistake again.

There are some great socks on the market starting at a fairly cheap $10 per pair for Brooks right up to performance socks by the likes of Injinji, Balega and 2XU as well as Lightfeet which are in the middle and what I currently wear. (I did write a previous product review a year or two ago about Lightfeet socks with some tips to avoid blisters!).

It’s easy to forget about the importance of a decent sock when running as we often focus more on the shoe, but without a good sock as I found at the weekend it can result in pain and under performing in your training.

Anyway I hope you are having a great week of running, it has certainly been warm here in Brisbane. I’m steadily getting into my marathon training and the pain is starting to kick in now as the training runs get harder and harder – but loving every minute!

Happy Running!

First Marathon after having my baby!

8 Feb

Its been 9.5 months now since my son was born and all I could think of whilst I was pregnant was how I was going to get back into my training and what I wanted to achieve as I missed running. Don’t get me wrong I was delighted being pregnant but I’d always run and not being able to was harder than I thought it would be!

Running the Gold Coast Marathon in 2015 - The Girl That Runs

This photo of Nadia and I was taken just before we were about to run a race a while back.

So I decided that in order to give myself a goal to get back into running I set myself the goal of running another marathon once my son was born – and that chance has arisen and I’m going to run it with my lovely and most awesome friend Nadia :-)

RunStopShop invited me to be an Ambassador which has been an awesome opportunity, and they have given me the opportunity to run a marathon of my choice in Australia which is very cool. This will be my fifth marathon and I was intending on running the Perth but decided that this year I would do the Gold Coast Marathon as it’s a well organised race and on a nice flat route with plenty of entrants – as my other fear when looking at some of the races such as the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane was that I might actually be last as I am coming back from not running for a while!

So since the beginning of January I have been following a schedule done by my professional runner friend back in the UK to get me to marathon ready by the beginning of July! It’s been tough as whilst I started training again after my baby was born I hadn’t really pushed myself until I decided I was going to go for the marathon.

I’m excited but scared at the same time. I’ve already clocked up 55km last week (Thursday – Wednesday) and I know it’s going to go up and up! I ran 16k yesterday and 11.5km today – and whilst it hurt it was so good to be back into the two figure numbers in distance :-) I have been doing a fair bit at the gym but also training with friends who are also training for races this year and my one friend that I am slowly convincing that running is fun :-) which is great to have someone to chat to whilst running the long distances.marathon-number-5

RunStopShop will be providing me with lots of kit for the race day which I will review and I’ll be writing some blog posts for them too which is exciting and fun! So it has given me the motivation I needed to get back into shape. I have already seen progress just in the 4+ weeks of training where my heart rate has lowered and also I could hardly run 5k at the beginning of January and like I said – this weekend I have run a total of 27.5km :-) Anyway watch this space. I’ll be writing more about my journey back to the marathon. I’m really excited as it’s a ‘special birthday’ year too so I’m hoping it will be a great year of achieving and having fun running :-)

Have a great weekend (what’s left of it and as always – happy running :-)

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