A couple weeks ago i decided to run my first solo half marathon (21km). The furthest I had run prior was 12km so I knew it would be a challenge, but I was up to it.
I have been running for 5 months but i didn’t have a specific plan to train for a 21k. It had been a goal of mine ,so i thought “Why not give it a try”. It was a physically and mentally tough run but i managed to complete it without stopping. I finished with the time of 3hr 4min.
Here are eight lessons i learn from it:
1.You can do anything you put your mind to
As i said , i didn’t train for this run (NOT recommended , training for a big run is VERY important) but i believed that i could do it. I had no doubt in my mind that it was possible for me to run a half marathon and i DID. The human body i capable of much more than we give it credit for. A few month ago i did think i could run 5km , now here I am running 21km. Its all in the mind. Do not set limits on yourself before trying.
2. Long distance running is a mental game
The body will give up long before the mind will . So you have to be mentally tough to push through even when every fiber of your being is telling you to give up.
3. It doesnt matter how slow you go as long as you dont stop.
Dont put too much pressure on yourself to beat someone else’s time. Its You VS You. Appreciate the journey. I personally follow a number of runners on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. They motivate and inspire me to keep pushing myself BUT I DO NOT let myself caught up in trying to beat the times set by people who have been running for years. “People who do things better than you are your teachers, not your competition”.
4.Trap music helps me run.
I always run with music , particularly trap . I have not always been a fan of this sub genre of Hiphop , but listening to it while I run gives me an extra boost . I have Migos, Cardi B , 2chains , future and others in my playlist .‘Major bag Alert’ by Migos is a great song to listen to in tough parts of the race.
5. Run to enjoy , not to endure
Running should not feel like punishment or else you will be searching for every excuse under the sun not to do it. Make it fun , run in a group , listen to new music , run different route. Choose a distance that you will enjoy but is still challenging.
Stretching is really important before and after your run. I learnt that the hard way . I didn’t stretch so i was basically bed ridden after my run LOL.
7. Celebrate your achievements no matter how small they may seem
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step”. Dont wait till you run a marathon (42km) in 1hour to celebrate. That may never happen and you will become frustrated. So celebrate milestones and personal bests even if they are way way slower than your friends times. “Don’t let your desire for improvement rob you of pride in small victories!”
8. Anything worth having is worth working hard for
If you want to get better at running, you have to stress your body. In order for your muscles to get stronger, they first must be slightly damaged through exertion. Then, your body builds the muscle fibers up stronger to handle the increased workload. The damaged muscles are what cause you to feel sore after a good workout. Dont shy away from the pain that comes with long distance running , embrace it. Push through your perceived limits and you will be amazed by what you can achieve .