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Training for Boston? Tips on staying motivated from Firstgiving's BethL

Posted Dec 22 2008 8:10am

  Cross-posted at the Team Firstgiving Blog:

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One of the great things about a blog (and our blog is no exception), is that a lot of the content stays relevant after it’s posted.  Beth wrote this post when she was training for Boston ‘07, and we thought we’d re-post these useful tips for those of you training for Boston ‘09.

Original post at the Online Fundraising Blog


If you live in the Northeast and you are training for the Boston Marathon (or any other Spring marathon), staying motivated on days like today can be very difficult!

I have been in your running shoes many times. As an endurance athlete (7 marathons, 3 Ironmans, etc) and Run coach for Team Envision (my triathlon team), I have found that the following tips have been helpful for getting me out the door…

1. Dress for the weather.
If you are comfortable, you are less likely to bail or cut your run short. I have found that recording the temperature and weather conditions, as well as what I wore on a run and how I felt, helped me figure what works. For example, when the temperature dips below 20 ° F, I know I will be comfortable wearing: long sleeve technical shirt, fleece vest, wind breaker (waterproof is best!), leggings, hat, and gloves. Sometimes if I am doing a recovery run (where my heart rate is lower), I will double up on my leggings.

2. Use the buddy system.
Plan to meet a running buddy for a run. It’s so much harder to bail when someone else is expecting you. My running buddy and Firstgiving colleague Maggi can attest to that!

3. Just try!
It is easy to bag a run when you are warm and cozy inside and it is dark and cold outside. So many times, the hardest part is actually getting out the door. One strategy that has worked for me is to run for just 10 minutes. If I do 10 minutes, and despise it, I allow myself to turn around. For the record, I have never turned around.

4. Get creative with your runs.
Mix it up — it keeps you on your toes (pun intended). Here are some ways I have spiced up my runs…
* Make up a new route (check out this awesome tool: ).
* Run your old route backwards.
* trail run or snow shoe.
* Cross train (if you are a gym rat, try doing circuits - e.g., 10 minutes on the treadmill, 10 minutes on the stationary bike, 10 minutes on the elliptical, repeat for as many times as the duration of your scheduled run).
* Run an errand, literally. Need to run to the grocery store? Need to drop something off at a friends? Run there!

5. Attitude is everything.
You may not be able to control the weather or sunlight, but you can definitely control your attitude. Now is the time to appreciate the fact that you can train and run a marathon. Think about the fitness and strength you are gaining, all the people you are inspiring, new friendships, and how each run gets you closer to your goal. Also, if you are fundraising for charity, think about all the awareness you are bringing to your worthy cause, not to mention funds that will help your charity do more good and reach their goals.

Next time, the couch looks better than your run, think about these five tips and get out that door!

If you have any tips not mentioned here or you want to add on to my thoughts, please leave a comment and share!

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