• Helen Phillips

Mastering Your Marathon (or Half) Mojo

Mastering Your Marathon (or Half) Mojo

So months ago you signed up to run an autumn race. You started keen, overly keen. You've been devouring out runs in your plan the same way you down chardonnay and triple chocolate devils food cake when you're not counting calories, even adding in extras when the days were good and you're running fit and strong.

But suddenly you've lost it. The race is weeks away, you've been training hard for ages and feel you're going backwards not on towards your goals. You skip one run, then another ... and before you know it you're a few weeks down the road and now feeling scared about 'catch up'!

So if you've got an autumn race to train for and you've been doing so well so farr, it's a shame to let all that hard work, dedication and summer motivation go to waste. Here are some of my top ideas for getting your running mojo back to get you to your start line of your race.

Just Chill Out

No, I'm not suggesting you lock the door and open a bottle of red (well not until you've been out running). But if you've spent all year following a training plan and focused on races, your positivity and "go go go ... you got this" positivity might be worn out. It's good to take a break, relax and chill out in your running once in a while.

Leave your watch at home, lace up your trainers, step out the door and run. Forget about time and pace and focus on the process of running. Feel how your body moves, focus on your breathing and breathing deep and easy and take in sights and sounds along your route. Connect with yourself and with your environment and you'll return home rejuvenated.

Run a Different Route

Us runners tend to be creatures of habit, always turning left (or right) and following the same path from our front door. Why not reengage with your love of running by finding other routes and trails to follow. Last year I did a 30 day 5k running streak which took me to loads of new parks in the country and city trails and paths, it was a real eye opener and challenged my running too. If you constantly run the same paths you always know what's coming, with a new route you've no idea when there's a steep hill ahead! If you always run on the road why not try running a trail.

Mix it up a bit

If you're a weekend long slow runner, why not try something different when you head out. Try a few speedier threshold runs to challenge your heart, legs and lungs, you'll feel amazing after. Or how about some 60 second sprint intervals (with walk or jog breaks) to inject some pace into your training. Or how about some hills, hill running builds strength and stamina and you'll feel great once you're at the top!

Find a Friend

If you just know you'r'e going to talk yourself out of heading out arrange to go running with a friend, to keep you accountable. Or tell your virtual Facebook running friends you're heading out, and promise an update when you're back. I find Facebook friends are great at kicking me out the door!

Or why not join your local running club. Mark club nights in your diary, so there's no excuse. Team up with other runners for more sociable running.

Set a Goal and Enter a Race

If you're a "I just run I don't race" type of runner and motivation is flagging it might be time to enter a race to help you focus your running. Having a race goal really helps to focus the mind. If you've got a half coming up why not enter a 10k or if it's a marathon, race a half.

Or how Parkrun to challenge your 5k time. At this time of year I like to be a Parkrun tourist to meet up with some of my virtual running friends, and we always have cake after!

Take a Break

But there are times when no new plan, goals, kit or friends can get you out of the door. You're tired and listless, miserable and burnt out, and feel like you're coming down with a cold or deadly man-flu.

If you've been pushing it all year, give yourself a break. Give yourself time to rest and recharge, your body and mind will thank you for it. Don't feel guilty, it's your body telling you it must rest. Give yourself proper, guilt free rest and you'll recover to become a more resilient runner.

If you've a marathon in your sights why don't you come and join in with Marathon Club Hub to help with your training and preparation for your race. Marathon Club Hub will help you ramp up your running for your marathon, focusing on the right foods for fitness, strength and conditioning to fitness your form, as well as keeping you engaged and motivated along the way.

Click here to join now!