With so many friends taking part in fundraising physical challenges at the moment it feels like there is an endorphin virus going around and they have all caught the bug. Raising money for causes we feel passionate about is both rewarding as well as mentally and physically hard work. The BBC Mind over Matter documentary proved the immense benefits running can have for people particularly those with mental health.
Maintaining good health in training is as much about building resilience and self-belief as it is about becoming physically strong. People telling you are strong is one thing, believing you are is another and demonstrating it in your actions confirms it. I am now three months from my main event and I am beginning to feel the pressure of my training programme. If I am not in the right frame of mind before a session it makes it harder. Monday evening is a casing point; it was chilly, grey and looked like rain, I had a 2 hour run in my schedule and really did not want to pull my trainers on. I warmed up on my indoor bike and then set off to do six laps of my local park. By the time I had hit six miles my mood had not improved. I was running through gritted teeth, having spent the last hour telling myself I was slow and to add insult to injury the rain decided to come on. Meanwhile, my running partner was lapping me, smiling and generally making it look easy. I cursed myself for being so negative and dug deep for the next hour to keep my legs moving, reminding myself to smile, take it easy and just finish the session. As I ran down the last few minutes on my watch to hit the 2 hour mark I still grimaced at my turtle like pace but I had completed my training and a high 5 celebration was in order. Progress is progress even rubbish progress.
Fear of failure can be debilitating or a powerful motivator and while I have experienced a few disappointing training days, I am determined to try and see the positives in from them. Those tough sessions along with my inbuilt stubborn determination should stand me in good stead come race day. Whatever your challenges are, don’t forget to celebrate the small stuff, keep positive, perspective and good luck.