I'm currently training for a Half Marathon. This is a very big deal for me because distance running has always been a challenge. I don't think twice about doing a 2 mile open water swim or a 150 mile bike ride but the idea of running 13 miles? YIKES! I'm doing the run with a dear friend of mine so I have a workout and accountability partner. I created a totally doable training program that over the course of 20+ weeks will bring us to our goal of running 13 miles. The weak link in the training program is me.
I went out for my first training run to see where I was starting from - I had guessed a mile but was pleasantly surprised that my starting point was 3 miles. That's a BIG difference and has a serious impact on my training program. As I was out jogging, and I do use the term 'jog' in the broadest possible manner, the biggest challenge I came up against was in my head. I call it the Committee. You might not know my Committee but I'm fairly certain that you may have one of your own.
The Committee is made up of all those voices in my head that tell me why I can't or shouldn't do something. They were powerful my first day out! It started with "It's cold", followed quickly with "My legs are tired", not to be outdone one of the voices piped up with "who do you think you're kidding you'll never be able to jog a mile let alone 13!" The committee kept repeating the litany of reasons why this whole Half Marathon thing wasn't going to work and was certain I'd come to the realization on my own soon enough.
As powerful as the Committee can be I know how to beat it at it's own game. I fight those voices with the voices of the members of my Dream Team, well them and great music. I also play games with myself like picking out a tree and telling myself that as soon as I get to that tree I can slow down. Since I am just beginning my training I don't care how fast I jog, I can jog as slowly as I need to I just can't stop. I'm pretty sure that I walk faster than I jog right now but as I said I don't mind because I know I'll get faster with each training run.
Giving myself permission to go as slow as I need to as long as I don't walk is a powerful training tool. Knowing how to speed up and slow down gives me a ton of options during my training runs and allows me to go farther than I thought possible which really shuts the committee up. I may not set any speed records and I'm okay with that, after all in April I'll be celebrating my 48th birthday and being able to complete a Half Marathon at the age of 48 is something to be very proud of. When was the last time you challenged yourself and your committee to setting and achieving a personal best goal? Why not make today the day to challenge yourself? I believe in You and soon enough you'll believe in you too.
Here's to you in Health, Wellness and Fitness!