TRAINING UPDATE

As most of you will be aware the main goal is to run my first 100 mile ultra-marathon at the beginning of May 2020. I’m doing this in aid of the ‘Alzheimer’s Society’ (click here to donate!).

My training has been doing pretty well for the past 6 weeks. I’ve gotten back on the trail running to start getting used to that again. Trail running is a completely different style of running to road running and I find that if I don’t put it into my training I struggle to get used to it come race day. My pace in general has gotten quicker without me realising it. It’s been all on the up.

However last week I managed to hurt my knee, without even doing anything. I had severe pain and swelling in my knee even from just sitting with it in a bent position. It may have been overtraining but I’m leaning more towards the drop in temperature. I have a history of joints hurting when the autumn hits. So all of the above positives have now started to decline (booo!).

Luckily after a week of no running or leg training, the pain has pretty much gone. I managed a half mile run over the weekend with no pain during or after. I still get the odd ache but I’m always in pain in some form or another so I’m not too worried about that. I’m nervous to start back on the plan to some extent as I know i’ll have lost some speed and stamina, even though it’s only been a week. Prayer to the running Gods for as little impairment as possible!

The plan going forward is to now carry on from where I left off with my training plan. Going to take it slightly easier this week to ease my knee back in and try not to over train. I have a race on Sunday so want to be in the best position I possibly can.

My next race is the Cardiff Half Marathon on Sunday 6th. The plan is to just take it at whatever pace feels comfortable on the day. No pushing harder than I need to make sure I don’t cause any more damage to the knee (if there is some there). I’ll be happy with a 2:00 – 2:10 half.

See you in 6 weeks for another update!

STAYING MOTIVATED.

I would be lying if I said I was motivated 100% of the time. There are things I need to do in order to keep myself on track day-to-day with my training, especially where running is concerned. Below are my top 5 tips to keeping yourself motivated and on track.

#1 HAVE A PLAN

If I’m going to stay on track I need a plan to follow. If I don’t have a plan or direction I find it’s easy to fall off the wagon with training, especially with my running. I will always follow some form of plan whether that be on a monthly plan basis or if it’s for a specific event, I will always find a plan to fit the distance and time scale. If you’re a beginner then plans such as the ‘Couch 2 5k‘ are great, even if you have a good level of fitness already. It gives you a clear plan to work to each week.

A good way to get a plan is to sign up to an event, whether it be your first 5K or an ultra-marathon. Signing up can keep you focused towards a goal and makes creating a plan a lot easier.

#2 JOIN A RUNNING GROUP

It can be difficult some days to get out and run. The best thing I did was to join a running club and also joined a Crossfit with such an amazing team. Joining a club means meeting people with the same goals as you and means you’re out socialising at the same time! Every town will have a least one social club and cities will have many to choose from. Go along to a few and see which one you feel most comfortable with.

My advice is to not be scared. The majority of local running clubs or gyms have very mixed abilities, from complete beginners to your seasoned runners. They have all been in your position at some point in their life! Just go for it! You’ll learn so much about running from those people around you. I also find being in a club distracts you from the run. One minute you’re starting off, the next you’ve finished?! Time flies when you go for a social run.

#3 MIX IT UP

If running isn’t your thing or you find it gets boring at times mix it up with other sports or activities. Whether it be some yoga, going to the gym or a different sport completely, add it into your weekly training. My passion is Crossfit, and I do this for strength training on my days off running or on days I’m only doing a short run. You’ll notice that many running plans will have strength training or cross training integrated in the plan, so use that as a day to do something different towards your health and fitness. It keeps everything interesting. Fitness should not be boring! Do what feels good to you on that day.

#4 DO IT FOR A GOOD CAUSE

If you need a bit of extra motivation pick a challenge to raise money for a good cause. This means your doing your bit in raising money for a good cause but also have something to motivate you and give you a reason why your training! For me taking on such a big challenge as the 100 mile ultra, i felt like i needed to dedicate it to a good cause which is why i chose the ‘Alzheimer’s Society‘. See my story here, if you haven’y already!

#5 BE ACCOUNTABLE

Unless you are a very motivated person flying solo, I find having a person or a team to be accountable to helps massively. This ties into joining a running club or a gym. I’m extremely lucky I have such a great support system who make me accountable for the training that I do, and make sure I’m ready for the events I’m training towards.

Another great way to be accountable is through social media. Social media can be seen in a very negative light if you let it take over your life or let it rule over your self-esteem, but it can also be a positive thing if used the right way. I use it to follow those people who motivate me to stick to working towards my goals, everyday people doing amazing things. Not using it to follow ‘influencers’ which unattainable standards. I also use it to update everyone on my training. Firstly because it means those who’ve donated towards my cause see I am working hard for it. Secondly, it keeps me accountable in the sense that I need to show people I’m sticking to my plan. I really hope it may motivate even one person to do something they never thought in a millions years they would do.

I really hope these tips have been helpful and hope that it helps someone get motivated or even start something new! Comment below if you have your own tips to keep you or other people motivated!