How I went from 2 miles to 26.2 miles in 6 months
Slow motion is better than no motion
If you’re anything like me, the only motion you want to do is lifting a doughnut to your face, and the occasional trip to the fridge. In 2017, I was coerced into signing myself up for the Original Athens Marathon. It was night shift, I was easily persuaded with, “you get a cool medal, and it’s the ORIGINAL marathon!” Okay, you got me. I’m hooked. Only I wasn’t. The first few months, I struggled to even get myself up to go run two miles for my semi-annual Army Physical Fitness Test. I was the girl who tried to park as close as I could to the entrance door of my work – a measly 300 meters. I started off with short workouts in the gym. They were circuit workouts that were on the Nike Training App. I’d start my gym workout with a one-mile run, and then go do my circuit training. After a few weeks, I started to feel better about getting into a workout routine. That’s when I got my accountability partner, Stacy. Stacy and I signed ourselves up on the Nike Run app, and we made every week a challenge. We would try to beat each other out in miles on our days off. Then at least 2 times a week, we would go on a long run together. It helped us keep pace with each other and challenge ourselves. Here are some tips to keep you moving towards your goal and making sure your body doesn’t break down along the way.
Keep a consistent workout routine
The hardest part of getting a workout routine down is actually starting it. It’s easier when you know your schedule ahead of time, or you work a 9-5 job, 5 days a week. For me, it was when I was doing shift work. Shift work isn’t the easiest to work with, but I would just plan my longer runs on my days off. That way I had enough time to recover before having to be on my feet for 12 hours. It took me about 3 weeks to build the habit of working out.
Fuel your body with nutrients
Take the time to calculate your macros and see what you need to fuel your body. Everyone’s metabolic rate is pretty much the number of calories you would need to eat if you were to lay on the couch the entire day. So, after a 10-mile run, you aren’t going to want to just fuel your body with a daily dose of 2000 calories. Your body needs nutrients to repair itself and get stronger. Keep that in mind, even if you are running to shred some weight.
Find a way to keep accountability of yourself
My accountability was my Nike App and having some healthy competition. Your accountability could be checking off a box in your planner. As long as you have something you can visually see to give you gratification on your workout, it’ll make the difference.
Challenge yourself, but know when to take it easy
In order to get stronger, you need to push yourself. Whether it’s with a heavier weight, longer distance, or a faster pace. But there’s always room for rest and recovery. When you’re sick or you’re just not feeling well, don’t hesitate to call it quits for the day in order to get some equilibrium back in your system. If you don’t feel well, you most likely won’t perform well. Know when to take it easy. And if you don’t make it to your goal distance before race day, it’s okay, as long as you try. I only ran two half marathons before my full marathon, and I was able to finish in 05:25:25. Although I don’t recommend running the race if you really don’t feel up to it, but it’s definitely doable. Train hard, train smart, finish the race!