So, you have had the goal for a while that you want to run a half marathon, right? But, how do you even start? You used to run 3-4 days a week about 2-3 miles per time with longer runs in the 5-6 mile range on the weekends. Now you’re having to drag yourself to the gym and barely get one run in a week. Your running routine got boring so your motivation tanked.
Oh believe me, no judgement here, I’ve been there in those shoes. In the shoes of you love to run, but you’re completely bored and need something to work towards and a mix up in your schedule. Life gets busy, sister so 1. don’t beat yourself up for getting bored and 2. work with your crazy busy schedule.
You’re probably thinking, okay that sounds great but where do I start? If I knew where to start, I wouldn’t be bored. Good question, right?
Let’s walk through step by step of getting you out of your rut and back on the road again, running towards your first half marathon goal.
Give yourself a deadline
Sign up for a race! Find a race in your area and sign up for it. I recommend that it be 4 months or so out. This gives yourself a deadline & will give you something to work towards and it will get your mind jolted back into the right place.
In theory, (since you’re a veteran runner, you’ve just fallen off the wagon a bit) you could technically sign up for a race sooner than 4 months, but I wouldn’t make it any quicker than three months.
Here’s why I recommend this timeframe: your body knows how to run, it knows how to get back into the swing of running because it is used to it. The muscle memory will kick in within a week or two and you’ll be ready to roll again.
I’ll make this point again, because it is very important; choose a local race for your very first half. Reason is, so that you can know the race route and train accordingly! My very first half marathon was a course that was full of hills. Had I not trained properly according to the race course, then it would have made for a very difficult race!
Okay so we have our race picked out and we’re signed up for it. Now what?
Go back to the basics
Remember why you love to run. I really want you to dig deep on this one. Think back to why you started running in the first place. Once you remember that, then think about what made you stick with running?
Still don’t remember? Here, let’s do this. Grab a journal, whether it’s a blank piece of paper, or grabbing a little cheap journal on Amazon and start writing about your running life. I know it sounds silly but go with me here.
Go back to the very beginning of your running ‘career’ and start writing about it. What made you walk out of the door the first time? Then, what made you walk out the door the second time and the third time, the fourth, etc.
I started running simply to be cool. That is the truth and it sounds crazy, right? But, I’m completely serious here. When I started running in 2011, all the cool kids were runners and I really wanted to be a cool kid. That’s what made me walk out the door the first time.
What made me keep walking out the door, was the way that running made me feel. It was incredible how good running was for my disposition and over all mental state. I felt better, I wasn’t as tired, and believe it or not; my skin didn’t break out so badly. Plus, I started losing what I call the “marriage 15” and I slimmed right back down to where I wanted to be. It’s a true story and every single runner has gone through a rut like this.
Part of the solution is remembering your why and lacing up your shoes, pulling back your hair, and hitting the road. Speaking of shoes…
Check Out Your Running Shoes
For the love of Gu, do not buy new shoes right before your race. If you think that you’re going to need new shoes before your race, buy them right now. I have been testing out Reebok Harmony Road shoes and I absolutely have fallen in love with them.
With my training schedule, both my own and my clients, my feet can take quite a beating and I need high quality shoes. Back in the day I wasn’t a huge Reebok fan, but I tried them again this year and the Harmony Road’s I absolutely love them.
They have cushion and they breathe. Can I get an, Amen? They breathe and your feet don’t suffocate. So! That said, if you need new shoes, grab the Reebok Harmony Road by clicking here, you won’t be disappointed.
If you don’t think you need new shoes at this moment, but you get a few weeks into your training and realize that you do need new shoes; I recommend that you buy them at least 6 weeks before your race. Ideally buy them now because of the time frame we’ve set, but 6 weeks would be the minimum. Kay, sis?
Now! You’ve got your race picked out, you remember why you love to run, you’ve checked and/or bought your shoes. What’s next?
Time to Run, Right? Not Yet…
Well, there’s no better way to prepare for a half marathon than to run! However, that doesn’t mean to just run out the door and hope for the best. You know that, you’ve been running awhile. But, where exactly should you begin with mileage? One Mile? Two? Three?
You’re not going to believe this, but I recommend you start with one mile. She said what? Yep, one mile. Get comfortable with the road again. Remember why you’re out there, and why you love to run. I say run the one miler 3 days in a row. It kind of shakes the rust off of your legs so to speak, after those three days, start working your way up.
This is where a training plan comes in. To reach your goals, whether they be for running or your life goals of say… Opening up your own interior design business, you must have a plan. Dreams without a plan are just that. Dreams. You must have a strategy.
Can I offer a piece of advice? Friend to friend? Be extremely cautious of going out and finding a free training plan online. You don’t know who made it, you don’t know if they’re qualified, it could actually be very dangerous. If you plan to take this step, I recommend you find someone with credentials (like me!) that can provide you with the right tools.
Alright! You’ve signed up for your race, you’ve remembered why you love to run, you’ve checked your shoes, you’ve found your coach or are hunting for a coach.
NOW it’s time to run!
Here’s the bottom line, sister. You can do this. So what if you lost your interest in running for awhile? I’ve sure been there and fitness is my living! Losing interest is called being human. You have big plans for your life and to be able to enjoy it you have to be in shape, right? Right! Why not return to something you love and give yourself a new goal and attain that goal?
One more thing about this whole running your first half marathon thing: don’t compare yourself to other runners. This is so hard, believe me, I promise I do understand the comparison game. Just don’t do it. You don’t know their life and they don’t know yours. They’re working on their goals, you’re working on yours. The fact that you’re out there and working towards a goal is awesome! There’s nothing to compare; you do you because I mean lets be real, you are pretty fantastic.
It’s time to get out there and go for it. Start with step one. Go find your race, sis and run free.
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