Everyday Inspirations


~ how to ~

My first pair of training shoes. We've been through so much together -- I don't know if I can can ever get rid of them!

It's January and in Ashley's world that means it's time to start preparing for my annual run in the Salt Lake half marathon. This morning I was busy at the computer getting together my training schedule, in total disbelief that it's actually that time of year again. Even though the race isn't tied to any sort of "resolution" I set for myself, I still enjoy that my planning conveniently happens in January, the month of new goals. What's awesome is that you don't have to train for a a big race to have a schedule. Any workout goal benefits from taking time to write and follow through with a schedule. Here are a few of my tips for setting up your own.

Write it down. When I run a big race, I have to plan ahead. I write down this plan week by week and think through my personal goals (such as aiming for a faster time). You can use this writing tool for any type of workout goal, from running a race to getting to the gym more days a week. Also, add your schedule to your calendar so it becomes part of your day-to-day routine and is tougher to ignore.

Mix it up. After 7 or 8 weeks of training, I always get kinda sick of running. And that's not good. I don't want to get bored with my runs, especially when I still have another month of training ahead of me. That's why I look for a plan that includes a few activities in addition to running, such as cross training and intervals. Make sure you fit in a mixture of workouts to keep both your mind and your body from getting bored.

Be nice to yourself. Every year, I inevitably have a horrid long run, complete with evil side aches and heavy legs. It's easy to get cranky (I tend to be hard on myself). But I've had to learn that training is like life... you're going to have great days and you're going to have bad days, but you can't give up if you feel frustrated. Part of training is learning to listen to your body and understanding its needs. Trust me, you're going to discover a lot about yourself and your strengths (despite the tough days). Be patient. Staying fit isn't easy (if it was, everyone would do it).

Don't compete with anyone but yourself. Above all else, don't compare your body, weight, or strength level with others. This is much easier to say than to believe since we're constantly pounded by images of the "perfect" body. But trust me, it's not worth it to beat up yourself because of someone else. You'll just get irritated and you're more likely to give up. Get to know and love your unique, beautiful body, find a workout that's right for you, and enjoy getting fit for the right reasons.

Lots of love!

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