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How NOT to Train for a Mini Marathon

Let’s start this blog off with this fun fact: I’m not a runner. I do not like it, I think it takes too long, I sweat too much, my bones ache – there’s so many other things I’d rather be doing than running. However, July 2015 my sister was running a mini marathon in the middle of the hot summer sun, had a seizure, and was unable to complete the race that she had been training months for.

Due to this, I wanted to step up and help her accomplish that goal. In November of 2015 I signed up to run the Indianapolis’ Mini Marathon that takes place the first Saturday of May. Upon registration I thought to myself “I have months to train, I don’t need to start now”. So months went by and I did not progress, “it’s winter, it’s too cold to run” I used that as an excuse.

However, quickly winter started to warm up and yet I still remained on the couch, not training. Currently, I’m less than 30 days away from the training and mentally defeated. So I wanted to write a blog that spoke about everything I did wrong to prevent you from doing the same.

Don’t wait until last minute  – start today!

Just because a race is months away, it does not mean that you can’t start training for it in advance. Any form of exercise needs to become a routine and it takes awhile to form routines. The further out you start, the more time you have to build that routine. Start with one or two miles and slowly work your distance up overtime. Start forming habits, sooner than later.

Don’t settle for the easy route – challenge yourself!

It’s easy to run near your neighborhood because you might be familiar with the area, but it is also an easy way to find an escape out of running the distance you set as a goal. You can quickly go from saying “I want to run 6 miles today” to saying “well, my house is so close and I should probably get a drink of water quickly”.  Before you know it, you’ve quit your run and have started your dinner. Instead of doing this – get in the car and head to the closest bike or running trail. Bring all the essentials with you and start your run. Since you already made the effort to get in the car and go, you’ll be much more inclined to keep going!

Don’t find excuses  – be equipped and be prepared!

It’s easy to get into a funk when running because you don’t have what you need to keep you going! What do I mean by that? Well, for me it’s a good podcast or playlist. I need to have something to distract my mind. So before you set out for a run, make sure you download all music that amps you up or the recent episode from that podcast you like. Have it on your phone and test it out so you are ready to go when you hit the road. One thing I did was sign up for Spotify Premium. With Spotify Premium you get the first month free so all you last minute scramblers like me – use it for that last month of training and then just cancel it right after the race. 😉

Don’t try to measure up with others – just do the best that YOU can do.

If you are training with a friend don’t be discouraged because they are running at a quicker pace or have ran more distance than you have. I know that it’s easy to fall into the comparison trap, but you don’t have to stay there! If you run with a friend that is running at a quicker pace – let them go ahead of you! Having them up front might challenge you to push past your comfortability level and you might end up going further than you thought possible.  Focus on yourself and set your own goals.

Don’t listen to self doubt – you can do more than you think you can! 

It’s easy to say to yourself “there’s no way that I’ll be able to run 13 miles with a month of training”, but hey – it’s worth trying. No, you might not be the fastest out there, but did you really think you were going to be even if you did train? It’s all about having fun. So, put the self doubt aside and just see what you can do. You might go from running 1 mile one day, to 6 the next. There’s no telling what your body is capable of unless you put it up for the challenge!

With three weeks to go, I’m not sure of how I’ll do – but I do know what I won’t be doing! Hope these tips help you like they have for me and – good luck!