Treading Lightly
Treading Lightly

How to Keep Training Fun

I’ll be the first to admit that running isn’t fun 100 percent of the time and training for a goal that’s still months away can be demotivating. But training can be fun for all 14 weeks (or however long your training cycle is).

Here’s how I keep training interesting and exciting:

Playfulness. I am lucky that my coworkers get together once a week (during work time no less) to play ultimate frisbee. It’s a great way for us to bond as a team (hello startup life) and relieve some stress. Bonus points for me, I use it as my speedwork. Between my easy warm-up run to the park and sprinting up and down the field, I more than satisfy my running workout for the day.

Thankful that I can finally pick up the pace. #runchat #flying #fastfeet #running

A photo posted by Mandy Ferreira (@treading_lightly) on

Short term goals. Although 14 weeks isn’t a terribly long way away, I like to set smaller goals to keep me motivated. I do everything from picking runs that I am going to not walk at all to holding my race pace for a few miles. I also like to pick goals outside of what I’m running for. CrossFit is great for this. I am able to choose lifting or other performance goals that don’t get the in way of my running but do help me feel like I’m making progress and getting stronger overall so I’m race day ready.

Mind games. Very similar to the one above, I also play mind games with myself while running. I will try to track my cadence (counting how many times my right or left foot hits the ground in 30 seconds, multiply by 2), see just how much of a song I really know, or my new favorite game via my coworker, try to guess the name of random people on the street.

Company. For the most part, I’m a solo runner. I like to run my own pace, not get caught up in what someone else is doing (or wishes we were doing), and really settle into my head and body. But running with a friend or family member every once in a while can be just the change I need. This year I’m running the Seawheeze with my mom (her first half marathon). Lately it’s been a great way to catch up and get some quality time in.

Check it off. Confession, I love crossing things off to do lists. Writing down lunch just to cross it off? Most definitely. The app I’m using for training has workouts by day that you can check off. I love clicking the box after I’ve finished the day’s workout. So. Addicting.

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