So let’s get real this week. You see pictures from races and see your friends post about how exciting and fun the run was and next thing you know you’re on the website and you’ve hit “register.” Now you’ve paid the registration fee and you’re stuck.
Now it’s time for the busy time – training. A seasoned runner friend of mine when I first started out knew I was a collegiate athlete and compared training to practice for all those events, except unlike having multiple competitions or games, there’s just the big race you’re leading up to. The race itself is easy, but training…training is hard.
First, it’s super important to find your training program. runDisney races are fabulous because they utilize Jeff Galloway who posts training programs specific to the event on their website. The training programs released by Jeff Galloway are already plotted out on the calendar for you. However, if you use your own training plan, they’re generic and split them up by weeks. You need to count back from your race week on your own calendar to figure out when you need to start your program.
Once you have your program, program it in your phone, write it on your calendar, or post it to your fridge – anything to help you to follow it! It’s so easy to get distracted and derailed due to things like work obligations, family emergencies, injuries, etc. Say you miss a work out, what do you do next? Do you fall completely off the wagon? Trust me, it’s really easy to say oops, I missed that one, I’ll make it up tomorrow. Then the next day you have something else that gets in the way and you push off your workout yet again. Then next thing you know it’s a week later!
The easiest way to make sure that this doesn’t happen is to be faithful to your training schedule. You owe it to yourself to follow through your training plan so you can celebrate on race day! If you’ve properly trained, you’ll have nothing to worry about come race day. Sometimes this means you have to turn down certain social invites, or just shorten your visit. Alternatively, when you don’t really want to get out the door to start your long run, put your shoes on and start out the door. I guarantee about a mile to 2 miles in you will be so glad you got out the door. And don’t forget, the first mile is always a liar.
If you miss a run, what to do? If it’s a long run and you can rework your schedule so you can squeeze it in the next day, do it! If you miss you can’t “make up” your run the following day, skip it, sticking to your schedule for the next weekend and stick to it! Depending on your job, you may not always be able to complete your runs on weekends. This happens to me, and when it does I have to figure out how to switch some runs around in the training schedule. The most important thing you need to do is make sure you are taking a day off after your long runs in order to make sure your body can recuperate. And when your training schedule says to “rest,” make sure you do! It’s easy to say “oh I feel great, I’ll just not worry about resting and go ahead and add in an extra run”, but you’ll find you get fatigued, which can lead to injury and lack of motivation, which will make you miss more training runs!
If you continually start to miss your long runs, you might need to consider dropping back to a shorter race distance. Or, if it’s a Disney race, deferring to next year. Cheating yourself in your training is only going to hurt you on race day (perhaps even causing injury) and will make that race you’ve been looking forward less enjoyable than you have envisioned. If it’s your first race and you don’t enjoy it, I doubt you’re going to want to try it again. So set yourself up for success and train hard so you can party even harder after that big day!
To be successful, you’ve got to find ways to stay motivated. Personally, I keep myself motivated through training season by giving myself little rewards for sticking to my program. So perhaps after that grueling 20-miler, my boyfriend will treat me to my favorite meal, plus a cone of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Other times I will reward myself with a cute new running outfit. Then there are times when my mother will inform me of her run for the day so I drag myself out there to complete mine! Sometimes, finding and using your training buddy is essential, something we’ve talked about here before.
So, sign up for your race. Find your training program. Tell all your friends, post it on social media, find people to keep you accountable. Follow through on your training program. Find ways to make it work with your schedule. If you miss a run, don’t stress out, and keep plugging along. If you find yourself missing so many runs that you can’t get “caught up” then perhaps look at deferring the race or changing to another race distance, but recognize this isn’t always possible. Learn the phrase “I can’t, I have a long run scheduled in the morning” – it will become important! And lastly, find your way to stay motivated and use it. Follow through on all of these, and you have the recipe for success come race day!
TMSM is very excited to publish the “Racing Disney” runDisney series by Addie Clark and Catie Neal. Please keep an eye out for more of their amazing and informative articles! If you missed of the articles in this series make sure you check them athttps://www.themainstreetmouse.com/tag/racing-disney/
If you are planning on running in a runDisney event and have questions, or have participated and want to talk about your experiences make sure you visit our runDisney Forum at http://goo.gl/RLB5ka
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