I am training to run my 4th half marathon, and I weigh over 255 pounds. I started training again at 270 pounds so yeah for the weight loss! Starting to run can be hard, but trying to run longer distances can at times feel unattainable. Especially after a 2 mile run that felt like you were stuck in peanut butter.
It is all relative. I promise.
While I think we all agree a marathon is a long run, to an avid ultra marathoner- they may just find this as a usual weekend experience. To me long run can be the woman who is doing her first 5k, and couldn’t run to the mail box last year. Long is whatever you let your mind construct it as. Today I did 6 miles, and the hardest mile was the last because I had not even realized how long I had been running! I had so much going on in my mind that I was SO distracted I didn’t see the miles adding up. It was only until my body sent some signals of hey- this is new and well *pain*.
This got me thinking how much I mentally let the miles and training plan get in my way of going further than I thought possible. So here are tips for you, and me to release than mental block and run further together!
1. Embrace your expectations.
Goals feel most unreachable when they’re not specific. If you have been wanting to run “further” but it doesn’t speak to you, that’s because it’s not defined in a way that’s manageable for you. Break it down: What feels long to you? Pick a number, whether that’s 3 miles or 30. The key is to have a target. That way, when you decide to take steps toward your goal, you can.
2. Make a plan.
This means setting a calendar-specific goal (like running the Vegas Strip with me in November?!) and breaking down the step-by-step goals to get there. Working from a training plan or with a coach should be your first stop. Anyone who jumps out there on their social media and proclaims epic half marathon with zero training- unfollow them now. haha Ok, well just realize they likely are understating how trained they are- or the secret to long runs is…
3. Tricking yourself.
Your always going to be able to look back and say ” How did I used to…”. For me it is running 8 minute miles, or running 9 miles before popping high heels on and hitting the bar in college. I do not even COMPREHEND how I used to be able to run like that anymore- but thats the facinating thing about fitness, and running– you can always…
4. Go at your own pace.
I have not been able to stick to trying to run again in years. A really bad ankle injury made my new normal a very weird place. Its totally ok not to have a great week, or month for a while. As your body catches up, you can make new goals and not just how fast you get a mile done. I am happy to incorporate walk intervals in my running now a days because its what works right now, and maybe for the forseeable future.
5. Solve the mental piece.
Running can be hot or cold. Mastering the mental piece of getting started, keeping with it, and not letting your mind get in the way may be the biggest challenge of them all. If you tell yourself, “I could never run a half,” well, you will never run a half. You need to give yourself permission to believe it’s even possible. Find mantras, write it down,, shout it, whatever it takes you to believe it’s even possible. And once that breaks through, you’re ready for the best part about running ….
Don’t do it alone.
For me my husband keeps me accountable in offline life, but I still turn to social media for support daily. One more mile is always possible when you have someone else cheering you on, and at the end of your longest run you will have them to see you accomplish what you didn’t see possible. You CAN run far. You can do big things!