This week, I started marathon training "for real." I have a plan (sorta) and some loose weekly goals (kinda) but the number one thing I know needs to happen if I'm really going to run a full marathon in October is that I need to increase my consistency. Running "when I feel like it" was fine when I was starting out and just testing the water. Now, however, there has to be structure, and there HAS to be consistency.
Fortunately, I've been learning a lot about how to stay more consistent. While the vast majority of consistency comes from eliminating excuses and simply doing what needs to be done, there are some very simple ways to set yourself up for success.
1. Tracking. Between Map My Run and my JournalMenu planner, I record every run. Not just my distance and pace, but notes about how I felt and what I ate and what products I used for nutrition and recovery. Any trends in your training are much easier to spot when you're looking at a record of them! So far I've learned that Cocoa Krispies are an excellent pre-run food for me, compression sleeves are perfect for post-run, and I struggle severely when the temperatures are above 80 degrees. All of this is usable information that can help me train better and more consistently during the next few months.
2. Recovery. Learning how to recover is vital - it's hard to be consistent if you're always sore, tired, and injured! I can't tell you how many days I have skipped because of soreness that could have been prevented with proper recovery. Taking care of yourself can include eating properly, getting enough sleep, practicing self-massage, or even finding the right products to help your aching muscles or bruised feet. Without recovery, you simply can't bounce back to stay consistent!
3. Positivity. I cannot stress enough how important having a positive outlook has been for my training. If you consider every run to be torture, well, why are you even doing it?! But when you can find the fun in every step, and stay positive even after a tough or flat-out bad run, you'll stick with it longer. The same can be said of any exercise program: the more you enjoy it and the more positively you look at it, the greater your chances of making it routine and consistent.
With marathon training starting in earnest this week, it's time to put my consistency lessons into practice! What advice do you have for building a more consistent program and sticking to your planned workouts? Share it with all of us in the comments! And as always, check out the Wednesday Word linkup to see how other bloggers create consistency! Hosted as always by the wonderful Deb Runs, check back every week for another Wednesday Word and a new batch of great posts!