Racing Disney: Staying Motivated and Avoiding Injury by Guest Blogger Addie Clark
You’ve picked your race. You’ve found a training program that suits your needs. And now, you have to find a reason to lace up on your training days. Motivation can be hard. There are days where I would much rather stay in bed than get up at the crack of dawn and go running. And there are definitely days I have more work to do than I can shake a stick at and I can’t help but think, “Man, I could use the hour it’s going to take me to run and get ready to get some stuff done.” But I’ll tell you a secret Main Streeters: Those are the days it is most important to get up, lace up, and hit the road/trail/treadmill. And those are usually the runs I am most proud of.
But how do you do it? How do you force yourself up and at ‘em? Here are a few tricks I’ve learned over the past year:
- If you are just starting out, find a buddy. There is nothing like knowing that someone else is waiting on you to get you out of bed. I once read somewhere that it takes about 30 days for something to become a routine, so for the first 30 days or so, have someone go on your runs with you. That way, you show up and you can start making running part of your week.
- Go ahead and register for the race. With the runDisney races, it’s pretty easy to register months before your training program is going to begin. But if you are training ahead of a rD training program (building a base, which I talked about in my last blog), registering for the race you’ve chosen and actually forking over hundreds of dollars towards non-refundable registration…well, like someone once put it to me, it’s like placing a bet on yourself. You’ve paid a lot of money, so you better train so that you don’t get swept from the course.
- Remember, that a mile is a mile. Bad runs are going to happen. They just are. It’s part of the territory. You’re going to have runs where you walk more than you run. When you’re slower than molasses. What is important is that you get the miles under your feet. That you train your body to be able to endure 13.1 miles (or whatever your chosen distance is).
- Progress will seem slow, but stick with it! My last tip for you is one I struggle with all the time: the fact that I want to see visible progress every time I lace up. I want to see improved pace. I want to see that I’m getting in better shape. I want to see results. But unfortunately, running is a bit of a slow burn. You won’t see improvement day-to-day. But you will see it eventually. If you look at the run you just finished and compare it to when you ran that distance two months ago, you will see some improvement. The most important thing to do is not give up!
Before we say goodbye for this week, I also wanted to take a moment to talk about something all runners dread, but we all have to face: injury. A note before we start: I am NOT a medical professional, nor am I an athletic trainer. I have no knowledge on these things beyond what has worked for me, what friends have done and what I read online. You should always consult a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment.
So how do you avoid injury? My main tip is that you HAVE to listen to your body. Let’s say you head out for a 10 mile run but around mile 8 your joints start aching and you just don’t think you have 2 miles left in you. You have my permission to give up. Because your body knows things you don’t. Now, you’ll have to get to know yourself. Figure out what pain is in your mind shouting at you to give up, and what is actually you needing to stop. But don’t be afraid to stop and try another day.
Some other tips I’ve picked up for avoiding injury?
- Don’t increase your mileage too fast. Stick to the training program you’ve chosen. It’s designed to keep you injury free.
- Get fitted for shoes at a running store. You’ll spend a little bit of money on them, but it’s an investment. You only get one pair of feet and as a runner, you have to take care of them.
- Replace worn out shoes every 6 months or 300-400 miles.
That’s all I’ve got for you this week Main Streeters. Lace up and hit the trail and I’ll see you next time!
TMSM is very excited to publish the first in a series of runDisney articles by Addie Clark. Please keep an eye out for more of Addie’s articles as she prepares for her upcoming race!
If you missed the firstarticles Racing Disney: An Introduction, Racing Disney: Picking your Race and Racing Disney: Picking a Training Program in Addie’s runDisney series make sure you check them out!
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