We were surprised by the distance we covered the first day we kicked our walk up a notch. We wanted to keep up our momentum and knew we needed some sort of accountability in order to keep ourselves on track. It's too easy with kids and spouses and families and responsibilities to get side tracked. It's too easy to find reasons/excuses
to skip out on exercising. So Jen suggested we register for a half marathon (*13.1 miles). Register we did. We also got acquainted with Hal Higdon's half marathon training plans and signed up for a few 5k road races (*3.1 miles). Within 4 months we crossed our first half marathon finish line. We could barely step off the curbs at the outlets in Freeport after that race, but we were hooked and set our sights on running a full marathon (*26.2 miles) the following year. Oh, and despite our aching quads we still shopped the outlets.
* I added the mileages above because we are often asked how many miles the marathons and half marathons are that we run. Three marathons later and my father still asks ~ How long is the marathon you're running this weekend? 26.2 miles, Dad. 26.2.
Here are some tips borrowed from Active.com's 76 Ways to Get Moving. My point here is that it's never too late to get moving. What in the world are you waiting for? Try these out and let us know what works for you!
1. Set a goal. Whether your goal is to run for 10 minutes without stopping or do your first 5k, set it in stone. Once you make your end goal concrete, it will be that much easier to stay motivated and stick to it.
2. Buddy up. Friends make everything better. With a partner along for the ride, you will have someone to help pick you up for the lows and be with you for the highs. This will make the whole experience that much more rewarding.
3. Make peer pressure work for you. One of the best ways to boost your motivation is to have a friend work out with you. And what better to get your training jump-started then to have your buddy sign up for an upcoming race. If your friends keep inviting you to go for run, it's time to take them up on the offer.
4. Get a group ~ Hello! MAINELY RUNNING! Working out alone means you can skip a workout because you're only disappointing yourself. When you're working out with a group, you're letting everyone else down, too. Which one is more likely to keep you on track?
5. Get a training plan. "Failing to plan is planning to fail," as the saying goes. A training plan does wonders for keeping your workouts on track by offering structure and guidance. Find a plan that works for you.
6. Schedule it. Make your workouts part of your weekly schedule the same way you block off time for daily meetings, happy hours and dinner dates. When you schedule the time in your day, you can't use "no time" as an excuse.
7. Start slow. Build your workout regimen up slowly. You'll reduce your risk of injury and avoid that sluggish feeling that saps your motivation.
8. Amp up your playlist. It's amazing what good music will do to help you pull through. Keep your ears happy and your legs will follow suit. Upbeat tunes can help pass the time, and you might not even realize how far you've run.
9. Log your training. Keep a journal. Write down what workout you did that day, what you ate and how you felt. Documenting your progress can help you improve and also show you how far you've come.
And one of my fave's,
10. Buy a new workout outfit. When you look good, you feel good. After spending money on a new outfit you'll have to wear it for a work out!