Health

Five ways I'm reaching my running goals

So as I’ve written here before, I’ve got the Sporting Life 10K race coming up in May—a 10K race that I love to do. I get to run through a big chunk of my city Toronto when I do it, it’s generally a sunny Sunday morning and best of all, it’s all downhill.

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So as I’ve written here before, I’ve got the Sporting Life 10K race coming up in May—a 10K race that I love to do. I get to run through a big chunk of my city Toronto when I do it, it’s generally a sunny Sunday morning and best of all, it’s all downhill. It’s the third time I’ll pound along this race’s course and I know myself well enough to know that my training hits the ground with a thud once I stumble across that finish line. Meaning my running all but stops for me once I’ve finished a goal race.

But this year, something’s different with my running. Having been what I’d generously describe as a fast jogger for over 10 years now, maybe, finally, my training runs are getting easier for me. Maybe it’s the awesome Kanye and Kardinal music that’s getting me going. Whatever it is, my runs are faster and smoother lately and in my runner’s high the other day, I signed up for a milestone race—the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Half-Marathon. Gulp. Oh my.

And as scared as I am to stare down that run, I’m also pretty excited to have a sizeable race to train for. And knowing I’ve got that lengthy race ahead of me—think at the minimum, two hours of running this fall—I turned to this article to get some help on reaching my goal race. Whether your goal is to walk around the block, or complete an ironman, true words are written here on how to stick to your exercise goals. Here’s how I made the article’s tips work for me:

1. Start small: in this case, small means increments, so no more adding distance or time onto my weekly long run than 10 per cent. For example, last week’s long run was timed at 32 minutes. This week? Adding three more minutes onto it to make 35 minutes.

2. Track it: I love this free distance tracking site, so after I come in from a run and a quick stretch, I plop down, call this site up and log my distance. Little achievements in distances means big boosts of runner’s confidence.

3.  Switch it up: I had to think about this one….first the small switch was straying from my ever reliable but so predictable run route for something different. Second of all, I’ve enlisted a friend who’s running the same races for some team training—I rarely run with others, so hopefully the switch will do us both good.

4.  Foster some fans: I’m pretty much shouting my sign up for this race from the virtual rooftops—that is I’ve Facebooked it, Twittered it and I’m now writing about it here. How’s that for accountability when I feel like flunking out of my training?

5.  Think big: how much bigger is a 21.2 kilometre-race, the first distance of any kind I’m running in almost 10 years? Admittedly I ran the Chicago Marathon in 2001. That said, I over trained, burnt out and ran/walk a good chunk of it producing a time I wasn’t particularly proud of as a runner. It was also 10 years and two children ago. This run in my own city will be better, I’m promising myself.

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