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Slowing things down with #lchf and running

9 Aug

It’s been an interesting few weeks in life, work, and training – and I think this week things finally caught up with me. The last 7 days have been literally like running through treacle where energy and training has been concerned.

I found a few days running I literally felt like I didn’t want to get out of bed, when I woke up I felt like I had had no sleep and I generally struggled with motivation to train. Many people will argue it is because I am not having ‘enough’ carbohydrate – but I have been eating low carb high fat for a while so it would have happened sooner if that was the case. But at one point it felt debilitating and my husband even took our son out for a few hours on the weekend so that I could sleep – and sleep I did – 4 hours during the day!

I’m coming out of it now and have deduced (I’m no doctor but I do know my body) that it was all down to not enough water and just generally being run down and tired with work, training, life – I think we all have those moments. So it has been back to it today with training, and then I’m training with my friend tomorrow to pick things back up. I also treated myself to a new pair of Kayano’s this week to give me an extra spring in my step 🙂

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 9.56.05 pm

New shoes! Enough to put a spring in anyone’s step!

I think as a parent working full time sometimes we underestimate how busy our lives are – I know I do anyway – and I keep pushing to do things and have finally had to take a step back and say ‘ok – what do I have to let go of here, and who do I have to say no to?’ – running stays of course! I need it for my sanity!!

I had a think and here are some tips for if you don’t feel like training….got any other suggestions? Feel free to share in the comments 🙂

Running motivation

4 tips for when you don’t feel like training

  1. Don’t force it. 

I do find sometimes that when I feel like I need a rest and I then go to the gym I do feel better – but sometimes I know to take a rest. I think if you are feeling generally stressed and like you just need a breather then take one! The gym will still be there when you get back – but sometimes you need a rest and in not feeling like training it can be your body’s way of telling you to rest or that you aren’t firing on all 4 cylinders – alternatively if you aren’t enjoying your training just have a rest too – you don’t want to resent your running!

2. Do something different

If you find that you are tired of doing the same thing all the time and it is really becoming an effort – why not shake things up a bit and do something different? Run outside if you are a treadmill runner, or do some running drills or fartlek or what about trying out a trail run.

3. Run with someone else

I find that running with someone else has been amazing during winter as when I would have happily stayed in bed under the duvet – knowing someone is waiting for me to meet them to run has made me accountable and forced me to get up and train – I have always felt better for it – unless coming down with something.

4. Work towards a goal

Having a goal to work towards will do wonders for the motivation. I remember when I was training up for the Gold Coast Marathon last year I braved all sorts of cold and heat to get my training done – and not training wasn’t an option! I was focussed on getting to the start line 🙂

Running – loving it – struggling with it – getting back into it and so on

18 Feb

I feel like my journey with running consists of my going through an endless cycle of :

loving it  > struggling with it > picking myself back up and getting back into it > loving it ….and so on.

There is often a sickness and an injury thrown in as an added spoke on the wheel but that’s pretty much what I go through.

I was wondering what to write in my post and I decided I’d just write about how things had been going. The last two weeks have been a bit of a struggle with my running – so I guess I was at the ‘struggling with it stage of my cycle’.

snail pace

Resembling Marvin from Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy

After running the weekend before I struggled all week last week to motivate myself to go out and run. I don’t know if I was coming down with something but my legs felt heavy, my head felt like it was going to topple off my neck and I generally just felt a little under par. My poor husband had to sit and watch me mope around the house and generally resemble Marvin from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

All I could think of was negativity in relation to my running

‘you’re not running fast enough Zoe’, ‘you’re going to struggle with your half marathon’, ‘have a nice lie in and don’t bother about running’

and so I gave into it for the week.

I got to Thursday last week and decided enough was enough. I skipped my usual training session with the guys at Intraining last Thursday night and I went out for a trot by myself. I ended up running a great 5k – it’s funny how even when you don’t want to run – when  you finally get out there you feel so much better. So lesson to myself is to make myself just go even if I don’t feel like it as I always feel better afterwards!

I am still not feeling 100% but feeling better in myself. I need to take my own advice having given some advice on my blog before on how to stay motivated! One of the comments I made in that previous post was to go shopping and plan a treat at a certain point – well I have my new Garmin Forerunner 235 from RunStopShop and SKINS sent me some awesome Dnamic tights to try out – so I guess that should be my motivation!

Don’t get bogged down with pressure

I find sometimes it is so easy to feel that my running needs to be improving and that there is a pressure to keep up with people around me and to be competitive. I’m working on that and trying to distance myself from people who make me feel that way.

The group I run with on a Thursday are really friendly and supportive of everyone whether you are the fastest or the slowest, and on runs on the weekend with my friends we go at the slowest persons pace as it’s not always about zooming off. In the past I was often the one left at the back not sure where I was going and feeling like a failure.

At the moment I feel in some ways that maybe I shouldn’t have entered the half marathon I plan to do in March –  but I know if I don’t have goals to work towards then it is very easy to skip training altogether.

Long run on Saturday

I don’t have too much of a choice at the moment but to push up the training at the weekend as it isn’t long until the Half Marathon now. I don’t feel ready for it having had a rough start to the year with my injury but I will see it as a training run and another free top to add to my collection I think. I ran 17k last weekend for my long run – so this weekend will be probably 18/19k.

Anyway  onwards and upwards. I’m looking forward to my long run at the weekend and my session with the Intraining team tonight :-)- have a great week/weekend running and I will write more soon 😀

 

Not so great week that ended well!

13 Dec

This week has been a good and bad week. At the beginning of the week I was still struggling with my running. I talked about it in my last post and have deduced it is the time of the year. I have been feeling like my times have not been improving even though I have been training a fair amount. You wouldn’t believe I ran a marathon 4/5 months ago when I struggle with 5k at times now.

I cried a bit this week because I was convinced I was going nowhere and just felt deflated. I am always quite hard on myself my husband tells me and this week was no exception. I just felt I was trying hard but yet going for a run felt so difficult. Then it hit me yet again – it’s SUMMER!

Every year here in Queensland I struggle. I just forget! The humidity and the heat kicks in and it often feels like you’re running in treacle and going nowhere. Take the ParkRun I did a couple of weeks ago with my friend where I had to walk as it was too hot.

As mentioned in my last blog post when I was back home on my trip to the UK I did a Parkrun there and loved it because I was much more accustomed to the 11 degrees over the 30 degrees here!

Berrimba ParkRun

My husband told me to stop punishing myself. So I decided to run a ParkRun this weekend again with my friend. Much to my delight it was a much cooler day, in fact it was raining. I wasn’t sure whether to run as I am not a huge advocate of running whilst it is raining in case of injury or illness but I went.

By the time I turned up it was just spitting rain so perfect running conditions.

appreciate the slow runs

I didn’t really push it as much as I could have. I just thought I’d try and run reasonably comfortably and enjoy the run. It got a bit difficult about 4k in but I pushed on and when I crossed the finish line the girl timing said I was the first female over the line! My time was quite slow compared to a lot of the girls that normally run (and there were only 118 competitors ) at just over 26 mins but it was the boost I needed. I also came first in my age category 🙂

Berrinba PR 12 Dec 15

For the rest of the day I felt a definite spring in my step and I felt renewed in my running efforts. I know I will never be a ‘quick’ runner but doing my best and believing in myself is what I need to do more rather than looking around at other people’s times and comparisons to me.

We all need to give ourselves a break sometimes. We put so much pressure on doing things we enjoy often to the point it doesn’t become fun anymore – sometimes we need those slower runs and not so great runs to appreciate the good runs and to see how far we have come 😀

Forget the time 

I’ve also decided to make a conscious effort to try and not concentrate on times. It’s hard as a lot of runners tend to focus on time as to how well they are doing. Of course it’s a great indicator but us amateur runners that have faced lots of challenges and times when we have been unable to run I figure now the fact that I can run right now is a complete bonus and who gives a toss about the time!

Anyway that’s my ramble over for this post but I just wanted to share my topsy turvy week and encourage anyone else out there that is feeling not so great to keep running and appreciating that you can.

 

 

Tips for maintaining a positive mindset during marathon training #GCAM15

15 Jun The Finish Line

I had a bit of a not so great week last week. After all the trials with my foot and not having run a decent long run; on Tuesday night I then got sick. I’d been outside for too long at night wheeling my son up and down a cold foyer and the next morning I woke up unable to even get my head off the pillow. I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t be sick not 3.5 weeks out to the marathon and it was my birthday week 😦

So basically Weds, Thurs, Fri and some of Saturday were spent in bed sick coughing, spluttering and sleeping – and my husband got sick on Thursday too so at least I had some company! We spent the day sharing medicine, sleeping and watching TV! whilst my son got to play and have a ball in daycare. I managed to get out with the girls for a few hours on Saturday night to celebrate my birthday (not quite sure how – it might have been the glass of wine that helped!) and then yesterday again was spent on the couch feeling sorry for myself.

Hitting rock bottom 

I got to a low yesterday and decided that was it – I wasn’t going to run at all or I would downgrade to the half marathon as I was so stressed that I just don’t have enough time. A couple of my friends reminded me why i was doing the race and that it was never going to be about time. Roger my running trainer said I can do it, and my lovely ultra runner friend Zayne told me what she would do at this stage which was really helpful and convinced me I can do it – even if I have to walk some of it.

I was never in this for the time, it was about having a goal and getting back into running after bub being born. It was about doing something for me and feeling like I had achieved something in training,  and it was about encouraging other runners thinking about running a marathon that are not that fast that anything is possible even after having a baby within the year.

Coulda Shoulda Woulda 

It’s so easy to say “if this” and “if that” but life is life and  we deal with whatever is thrown at us. I decided I could choose to quit or i could choose to push on regardless and who cares about the time. I really don’t. I did for a long time but now I don’t.

Tips for keeping a positive mindset when your race is looming 

I couldn’t write a post like this without a few tips 🙂 I did write some in a previous post but these tips are more from a mental mindset point of view

Be positive 

If you feel like you are not motivated or need a pep talk – call a friend and a good one that understands. I found that my perspective was completely different to my friends and whilst I have been concentrating on having not done well – a couple of my friends reminded me that actually within a year I have had a baby and come back and trained for a marathon and that’s actually pretty good.

Write things down 

I like to look over my progress and look back at where I was and where I am now. In January I was unable to run 5k – now in June I can run 36 and will be running 42k in July!  A training journal is a great help. I got sent one from Journal Menu which is great to record training manually rather than electronically 🙂 and again see how far you have come and also make notes on each session as to how you are feeling.

Focus on the end goal 

Try not to worry about anyone else’s training and focus on your own and also that it isn’t forever. There is an end date – focus on it and try not to worry about pressures around you. On the day just focus on what you have trained to do and if you have to walk or if you are slower than you anticipated think about the people that haven’t even got up out of bed yet and give yourself a big pat on the back 🙂

So I think I am in for a very tough race but you just have to go for it right? let those negative thoughts disappear and think about the achievement….and the finish line!

3 weeks to go – bring it on!

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 staying focussed with your running goals #GCAM15

13 Apr

I hope you’ve had a good week of running. It’s been a mixed week of running the last 7 days for me and I can’t believe the Gold Coast Marathon is now less than three months away! I had a bit of a melt down about a week ago when I suddenly realised I am running a marathon this year…..

I know its nuts that it only just hit me. I had a baby less than a year ago and I will be 40 this year – I suddenly started to panic – who do I think I’m kidding to do this again and at this point in my life! It has been 9 years since I ran my last marathon and I was 9 years younger without having had a child at that time! I’m trying to be calm but everywhere I look I seem to see people running, friends training which is great as I’m now able to run too but I think the nerves have started to kick In a bit. People run marathons all the time from all walks of life I think I just got a bit overwhelmed with it all.

On the flip side I had a good weeks training clocking up 70k and taking 17 minutes off an 18k run route that I did 6 weeks ago so I am pleased I am finally beginning to see some improvement.tips for staying focussed on running

Tips for staying focussed with your running goals

I thought I would share some tips of how to stay focussed on your running as mentally I have had to use all of these whilst getting back into training again. Remember I am not a qualified trainer, these are just my experiences so always consult a professional when embarking on something new.

1. Surround yourself with positive people

For me positivity is key. When I first said back in December that I was intending to run the Gold Coast Marathon in 2015 (my baby was 8 months old at the time) someone said to me did I realise that I wouldnt be able to do a good time and it might be a real struggle. I was a bit upset at that comment since I think the marathon is at times a heavy percentage psychological in terms of embracing it, running it, and being positive you can finish it! so comments like that weren’t very helpful.

I have a great bunch of close friends who keep me sane and motivated and are always positive when it comes to training so I surround myself with them and it helps push me through when I don’t feel like training or that I am doing too well.

2. Enlist the help of a trainer or friends

I am quite motivated at running alone bar my long runs and my lovely friend and I run those together and I also have a good friend who I paid to coach me through the marathon and so far his program has been spot on. He also helps keep me on track and motivates me, reminds me I have done it before and can do it again – and it has really helped. There have been days had it not been for knowing he will ask how the run has gone I might not have gotten out of bed to train!

Alternatively your gym might be able to help you with a program or a personal trainer in or out of the gym and running with friends is a great way to keep focussed especially if you are training for the same thing and are of the same ability.

3. Remember your goal. 

A short while before and during being pregnant I wasn’t able to train as I was quite sick so exercise wise I toned things right down but told myself once I had had my baby I was going to pick myself back up and get right back into training and run a marathon. So once bub was born and I was told I could train again off I went and training for the marathon was a huge goal for me as I have essentially given myself less than a year to get fit again and train for it, I am not pressuring myself by naming a time I want to do but my goal is to finish and to finish as well as I can fitness wise. So remember what it is you are trying to achieve – put up pictures/motivating messages around the house, on your phone etc and go for it! and don’t focus on other people’s goals!

4. Happy Running 

I have been writing this blog for 5 years now and I often write at the bottom of my blog posts ‘Happy Running’ and I mean it. I love to run and it does make me happy – even if I don’t always realise at the time. If you find running a real chore and don’t enjoy it then perhaps running is not for you or your program is not right for you and you need to enlist a trainer to help you get your program right for you.

It’s hard work and it can especially when training for something like a marathon take up a lot of your time so it’s important to enjoy it 😀

5. Believe in yourself

Sounds like a slogan off a running vest right? but it’s true.

I remember a number of training sessions and one actual race where all the way round a voice in my head kept saying “why are you doing this? you can’t run this’  and as a result I crashed and burned.

I think it is important to really use all the previous tips and to believe in yourself. Just for running and committing to get fit you are awesome and it’s important to believe it. I know I will never be an elite athlete but I love running, love seeing improvement and know if I put my mind to it and focus I can smash my targets – Bring it on!

Anyway have an awesome week of running and Happy Running 😀

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 😀

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