Have you signed up for a race, or gotten started with a new exercise regime? Congratulations on making a commitment to your health! Now, how do you achieve that healthy goal you've set?
Let's make sure you're physically and mentally prepared so you can be at your best.
Keep a training log
A training log will help you stay motivated as you track your daily progress. All you need is a notebook to record the date, times, mileage and maybe some comments about your feelings after every workout session. These entries will serve as reminders of your progress.
In order to keep up your optimism, shift your internal dialogue to reflect a positive mindset. Come up with a short phrase that you can chant repeatedly in your head when running. This could work like an inner motivation to keep you centered and focused.
Treat yourself occasionally to a body massage or to new running gear. Periodic rewards will help you feel energized and will reinforce your commitment to your training.
Connect with other runners
Find a running club in your local area or reach out to friends, family members or coworkers who you know are already training or may be interested in training with you. These connections will be an excellent source of support when you’re feeling nervous or unmotivated.
Cut yourself some slack
There are times when work, family and life in general will prevent you from training. You should not be too hard on yourself, as these things will happen. Accept that there will be missed days or bad days and get right back on track, when possible.
Last but not least, have fun
This may be the most important tip to ensure you have a successful race. As Cigna Medical Senior Director, Dr. Douglas Nemecek, says, "Love your run and remind yourself that running is a fun and positive activity. Happy runners have been shown to have fewer injuries, and to run farther, faster and easier than unhappy ones."
Mental preparation matters as much, if not more, than the number of miles you log each week. The ability to keep a positive mindset can make or break your performance. Follow these motivational tips, and enjoy your run.
The information provided is for educational purposes only. It is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your doctor for appropriate health advice and guidance, including prior to starting a new diet or exercise program.