Tag Archives: training

Tips for staying motivated in your running

25 Jan

It’s been a good couple of weeks with my training dare I say it and I’ve been running 5 days a week following the schedule given to me by my trainer and I’m slowly getting there. It’s amazing how quickly you lose your fitness but great that thanks to muscle memory the body gets back into things fairly well. My distances have ranged from 5k-12k this week and in the next few weeks the numbers really start to creep up so I’m a bit nervous but equally feeling good that 5k doesn’t feel so long anymore and whilst I am running slowly I can feel myself getting fitter again.

I mix my training between the gym and outside and its hard at the gym to not put my speed up when the adrenalin of having other people around kicks in but I’ve tried to be sensible and I think the fastest I’ve got up to was 10kph – I try not to think about the fact I used to be able to run starting at 13 and get up to 16kph+. But the upside is that I feel good and confident rather than pushing those numbers up and failing because i push too hard too soon.

I’ve been having up and down moments with staying focussed and motivated but have done a few things that have helped which I’m sharing below. Here are a few tips I thought of whilst out running today for if you are struggling with your training right now. They are things that I have found work for me anyway :-)

Tips for staying motivated

Remember the goal Try to remember the end goal. Mine is to do a marathon in my 40th year (eek there I said it out loud!) and when you feel down or wanting to push harder quicker remember that end goal and this is just training for the real race day. If you don’t have a goal – it’s good to have one. Even if it is just to run 2km that is still a goal and a great one at that!

Monitor your progress  Write each training session down as you will be amazed how much you improve. I wear my GPS HRM watch all the time and log everything so I can see how I am improving on my running splits, heart rate and overall distance and time. I was only training a few times a week last year and now I train 5 days so I have to give myself a pat on the back and look through stats when I feel like I’m not getting anywhere. I am not running as fast as I used to but I am running and I am running a lot and that’s good enough for me right now :-)

Running buddy  Find someone to run with you in some or all of your runs if you find more motivation that way. I run with my lovely friend on Sundays and will be running with another lovely friend on my longer Saturday runs as the mileage goes up along with my fitness – running and chatting is such a liberating thing and the time flies by.

Be held accountable 

I have found the best thing to keep me motivated was to use a trainer to coach me to my next goal. He follows up and does my program as well as encourages and keeps me focussed. It makes me much more motivated to train as I know I will have to answer to him if I don’t train!

Plan a shopping trip or treat at a certain point

Have you been eyeing off those lovely running pants? Well give yourself some motivation by setting a goal to treat yourself when you do something in your training. It might be running that race, running that extra km per week – something that will motivate you to push that bit harder. I love shopping so that’s a perfect one for me. Yesterday I bought new shoes :-D

Anyway just a few thoughts as I chill after my Sunday run :-) Have a great weekend and as usual – Happy running :-)

Take the boredom out of treadmill training with these tips

21 Jan

Wow how time flies. I didn’t realise it had been 10+ days since my last post.

Training is going well and I am slowly getting the mileage up. I ran 8k yesterday and am due to do 10k today/tomorrow so that will be the longest distance I have done in a while but I am so enjoying being back training. I am following my training plan to the letter and trying not to get injured! It’s going to go up and up distance wise so bring on the hard work!Running on treadmill

I’m finding I am getting bored with the treadmill now the distances are going up. One training session which continually puts the pace up keeps me entertained but the other ones where I am just running the same pace have started to bore me so I will need to be thinking about getting outside more I think!

Here are a few tips to take the boredom out of your treadmill running:

Mix things up

Try doing what you might do outside inside by doing some sort of fartlek or speed session so you are not doing the same pace all the time. I find it hard when I am plodding away and literally going nowhere so am thankful for the runs that involve changing pace and incline.

Running buddy 

I was on the treadmill the other week and a girl got onto the treadmill next to me, she was of a similar running ability and she started hammering the treadmill and it actually pushed me to keep going and I felt like I had someone training with me. I thanked her when she finished for keeping me going. It can often help to train with someone to keep the boredom factor at bay.


If you are a music fan which I am music can work very well to alleviate the boredom. I have certain tracks that push me further than others. Some I have already used as my running song of the month – have a look at my running song posts for ideas. Put together a good playlist and see how it works for you.

Vary distances

Don’t do the same distance at the same speed all the time, thats enough to bore anyone. have some days that are maybe shorter and faster and others that are slower and longer.

Anyway – more to come soon – hopefully next time I write I will have confirmed my marathon :-D

Happy running!

* please note that I am not a qualified personal trainer or physician. These are just my opinions and experiences so always check with a GP or qualified trainer before embarking on any exercise.

Silly running mistakes I made this morning!

10 Jan

After this mornings run you’d never guess I had been running for 12 years! I was all set to go and had my kit ready the night before, my iPod charged, and my new TomTom GPS watch to try out which I was very excited about.

So the alarm went off and my husband politely shoved me out of bed and I was up and ready to go! Half way through my run I was exhausted and I was only meant to be running 5.5k and I couldn’t understand why a) it was taking me so long, and b) it felt so tough. Then I realised – Zoe you are such an idiot – you’ve forgotten some simple running 101 rules! I can just see my trainers face – head in hands right now!


I was so eager to get out of the house that I raced out and realised I hadn’t had anything to eat. I figured it was only a 5.5k run so I didn’t need to eat – WRONG of course and I should know this having religiously observed eating right before a run since I started running!

Queensland heat

I always under estimate the heat here in Queensland. In the UK on those rare boiling hot days (one of which I collapsed and ended up in hospital) I would run early, run slower and run in the shade. It felt ok this morning but I became very sluggish very quickly.

Take water on your run 

Take water when you run - the girl that runs

I can’t believe I didn’t take any water on my run with me!

Yeah running 101 again – I didn’t take water on. In the UK I never used to and the people I ran with would always say what a hindrance it was to carry water so we would ensure there was water on the route at fountains and toilets etc. But today again I figured I’d have some water around the lake – but then realised as I was running oops I changed my route and the run doesn’t include that section of the lake – I just wasn’t thinking.

But the biggest mistake I made this morning was very silly! 

TomTom Cardio watch

Silly me had my new TomTom watch on miles instead of km!

My brand new TomTom Running Cardio watch arrived yesterday from my friends at RunStopShop (review coming soon!) so naturally I could not wait to try it out today after retiring my faithful Garmin 405 cx so last night I sat and set everything up online but I forgot to pay too much attention to the watch and when I was out running this morning I struggled so much with motivation and it seemed every time I looked at my watch I was getting nowhere.

The negative thoughts came into my mind and I thought – what am I trying to prove running a marathon this year and why is this so hard!? Then at about what I thought was 4k – I looked at the time and my brain suddenly kicked into awake mode and I realise I was running in miles mode not km! so by the end of the run I had actually done 7.24km instead of what I thought was around 4.5km as it was in miles!  Silly me!!!

I got home and was exhausted, drank lots of water, had some breakfast and the day began! I won’t be making these mistakes again I hope….

Have a great weekend and happy running :-)

A reason to run – buddies and Earthalon @earthalon

6 Jan

This week has started off great. Last week wasn’t so great as I basically got sick on Christmas Eve and only just got better thanks to a dose of antibiotics. I was annoyed as I was meant to start my marathon training from 1 Jan so missed a couple of runs. I went for my first 2015 run at the weekend and I ran with a friend which was great. I’ve always been a bit of a loner when it comes to running – i used to run with a great bunch of friends a year or two ago at the weekends but most of my runs were on my own so it was nice to have company with my lovely friend. It was a hot one and we took it nice and slowly and chatted all the way round and I remembered how great it is to have a running buddy. It makes the run much more interesting and the pain doesn’t seem as bad :-) So I’m looking forward to going out with her again hopefully next weekend. The Girl That Runs Earthathon On another note one of my Twitter buddies encouraged me to join her team for Earthalon. If you haven’t heard of it basically it’s a challenge whereby you basically sign up and join a team online and the aim is for you to do an equivalent lap of the earth in miles/km as a team. Each time you run you hash tag #earthalon and your team name (see photo) – the team I joined is #teamhumanrace and it’s been really fun so far as you have people all around the world encouraging you in your runs and you get the chance to see other peoples journeys too which is awesome. Anyway hope you are having a great week of training!

Running outside again for the first time after having my baby – harder than I thought

18 Oct

It’s been a few months now since I got back into running after having my son and in that time generally all of my running has been inside on a treadmill because I haven’t been able to run with the Baby Jogger because baby M was still in his capsule. Well he is finally out and I decided to try and run outside for the first time last week – boy it was a shock to the system. I had forgotten how different running outside is to running inside. I was spoiled on the treadmill thinking I was really getting back to good speeds again.

We went to New Farm Park which is really nice and has the Brisbane River running alongside it and is actually where one of the Brisbane Park Run’s takes place on a Saturday. My husband took Max and walked whilst I figured I would run strongly and feel like a proper runner again…. well i ran around the corner and then my heart felt like it was going to fly up from my lungs and I had to walk!

I felt somewhat deflated at the fact I was so looking forward to running outside and I wasn’t able to continuously and had to walk! I know how the poor tortoise felt now when racing the hare although the tortoise won in the end right! So I figure I will get there – it just takes time like everything else!

New Farm Park by the river

New farm park by the river is a great setting for a nice run. It’s also where one of Brisbane’s park Runs takes place on a Saturday Morning.

I’ve had a few people ask me how I got back into running after having my baby, I’m no expert but I thought I would share what I did as a few tips – see below:

Getting back into Running after having a baby

1. Take it slowly

Don’t think that after just having a baby you’ll be running marathons the following week. I had originally planned to run the Marathon du Medoc in France in September after having my baby in April. I realise now that it would have been too soon and the body needs to heal and harden up. A lot of the body is still soft and not prepared for the effects that running has on the body so I waited to run until 12 weeks. I think that may even have been a bit soon but it comes down to you, your doctor and being sensible.

2. Walk before you run 

I started initially before running again just walking on the treadmill and outside. I took the treadmill speed up a bit as well after a while so I was walking quite briskly and also took the elevation up to push myself harder. Then from there when I was told I was allowed to start running I would run for say 30 seconds and then walk for a minute or two to get used to it. It was a shock to the system to begin with. There are some great walk/run programs you can follow such as this one from Runners World.

3. Measure for motivation

I am very driven by seeing some sort of result and I found it hard trying to get back into running with my belly jiggling and feeling exhausted so I started to log all my sessions on the treadmill at the gym and then use my Garmin outside to measure and I did see improvements which helped motivate and keep me going when I felt like I was getting nowhere. There are some great gadgets out there now that don’t cost the earth even down to using your mobile phone and the apps on there like Strava completely free of charge (there is a paid version as well where you get more stats).  Also I have never been one for the scales but if you are then you could measure yourself at the start of going back to training to monitor improvements but I think it’s important to remember especially if you are breastfeeding that the body has and is still undergoing lots of changes and so exercising too much and limiting your food at this after having a baby is a no no.

4. Enjoy the freedom!

If you find that you are not enjoying the training etc and it is causing you more stress – at this stage of not long having a baby take a breather! I loved getting back into exercise, no longer feeling sick from morning sickness – it gave me great release. Putting baby M into the gym creche gave me a chance to exercise and have a coffee uninterrupted too and it made me a better mum I’m sure just having that break! I also walked with friends with baby M who were really supportive. We’d have a coffee at the gym and then go for a walk and it really made me feel a bit more normal again!

Anyway It’s a beautiful sunny day so I am going to now take advantage of that and that my husband is home and go for a solo run outside :-) Happy running :-)

Please note I am writing from experience and I am not a qualified fitness professional or nutritionist so always check with your GP and qualified fitness/nutrition professionals before embarking on any change to exercise/eating. 

Training when sick?

20 Jul

I’ve been offline for the last week or so as both my husband, baby M and I all got sick and it’s been a nightmare. Luckily I wasn’t too bad so it meant I could keep going for everyone but meant I was really tired and visits to the gym went out the window.

I know a good number of people that come rain or shine and sick or not they still train.

Do you train when sick?cold

As soon as I feel unwell I cut right back on training especially cardio and when in a gym environment I am a strong believer that I shouldn’t go as I could pass whatever it is I have onto other people and that’s not fair not to mention I could make myself even worse.

As a runner I really do take it seriously when sick as I have been in a number of races over the last 11 years where people have lined up on the start line and someone has died! A lot of the time it has been an experienced runner who had a virus and didn’t realise they had a virus and thought it was just a cold and pushed it with a fatal result.

Here are a few tips to consider when feeling under the weather and wondering whether to train *

1. Feeling warm?

If you have a high temperature then that can be a good indication that you should take things easy or lay off training completely. Get yourself along to the doctor rather than the gym!

2. Slow down

Feeling slightly under the weather but still want to train – just slow down – instead of those sprints maybe consider an elevated walk, weights or a slow jog and see how it goes. Struggling when slowing down then it’s definitely time to to go to the doctor and stop training.

3. Know your body 

You know yourself better than anyone and if you really do not feel right then simply don’t train. It’s not worth it in the long run you will make things worse and end up unable to train for a lot longer than if you had rested when not feeling well at the start.

Further reading

Womens Health & Fitness published a great article about training when sick you might find interesting too.

*please note these are just my opinions and I am not a qualified doctor/trainer etc so always consult your doctor/physician when starting exercise or feeling unwell or if you have questions regarding your exercise.

A slight curve ball to training….

2 Nov

I haven’t posted on here for a while due to a number of reasons but the main one is I have been trying to think about the best way to continue my blog which is meant to be about running when I am basically not running right now and won’t be for a while.

I’m having a baby!

It’s been a mixed emotional time of – awesome I am having a baby and oh no! I can’t train as I would want and my belly is big and who could forget morning or should I say all day sickness!

I decided to continue with my blog throughout my pregnancy but I understand if those of you hard core runners that are not the slightest bit interested in people that don’t run switch off for a while. I still have some product reviews stacked up to share as well as sharing my journey of being pregnant and the next phase of getting fit and back into running again so it’d be great to have you along for the ride but understand if all things babies bore you :-)

I’ve been doing baby yoga which is great fun (more on that soon) and walking a lot but other than that I’ve been told I am not allowed to do any major cardio for the entirety of my pregnancy *yawn* but it’s all in the name of a good cause :-)


My plan is to have baby and then my great friend and PT is going to whip me back into shape ready to run a marathon in 2015. Not sure which one at the moment as New York is $3500 as an Aussie just for the flight and race place so Los Angeles is looking more promising.

Anyway that’s me for today but hope your training is going well and you put in a few km for me!


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