A gal in the Active.com community recently wrote in asking for encouragement to get through the C25k program. She was on w1d2 I believe and after a (rather lengthy) response of encouragement I gave her these ‘pointers’ so I figured I’d share them with you if you are starting the C25k program or really just for running in general.
- DONT beat yourself up. If you need to spend a few extra day on a certain ‘week’ of training – do it. If you get to your first 5k and cant run the entire way – it’s OK. Just the fact that you are attempting to do it is better than most the other moms out there that will always claim “I can’t run”
- Every course is different. Remember that unless you are training on the course you will be running for your first 5k – every course is different. Georgia is really hilly and I was training on flat roads because it was ‘easier’ but then when I got to my 5ks they were HILLY and I couldn’t run as fast. Then it hit me – pick the hardest darn path to run on my weekday runs then if the 5k is easier and flatter – then it ROCKS. But if it’s hilly – then I’m prepared. I actually shaved 3 minutes off my 5k time during one race because it was “flat and fast” and I had been training on hills. I was crazy excited!!!
- Push yourself. If you are running and you feel like “I can’t do it” – you can – just push yourself a little bit further because chances are physically you CAN do it – your mind is just telling you you cant.
- Make ‘visual goals’. Pick a mailbox or a stop sign or a tree and say “if I can just make it to that tree..” then when you get to the tree say “if I can just make it to that stop sign” and keep setting visual goals. I know it sounds crazy but I pretend the mailbox or tree is actually pulling me to it. And the visual goals really help me – if I stare at my watch and think “how many more minutes” I will die hahaha.
- Positive self talk. I wont go into detail here because I already posted on it (here) – but don’t emphasize the negatives when running (I hurt, I can’t, etc) PRAISE yourself for what you’ve accomplished and think about the positive stuff.
- Don’t think about running when you are running… When I start thinking how long I’ve run or how much further i have to go it makes it REALLY hard. I think about my day, planning my daughters birthday party, re-organizing my house, ANYTHING other than running. When I do that usually I get lost in my thoughts and next thing I know I’m FINISHED!
- HAVE FUN – running should be fun and if it ever gets to a point where it’s work or it’s miserable you are training too hard or with the wrong attitude. Remember that there are TONS of other folks out there that wont even attempt a 5k in their life and YOU are working towards one. I always think about the contestants in the Biggest Loser when I run and think – if they can run a marathon – I can run a 5k