1. Wake up earlier
Waking earlier is something that many people don’t like to consider. Not because it holds no benefits, but because people love to sleep. I mean, what sounds more appealing: getting up at 6am to work out, or sleeping in a nice cozy bed for a few more hours? I know what I’d prefer to do. Unfortunately though, this is something that you need to consider if you want to be ready to run a marathon, whether it is in a few months, or in a year’s time. Set your alarm at 6am, park it at the end of the bedroom, far from your bed, to prevent you from hitting the snooze button—you’ll be good to go in no time.
2. Hire a babysitter
If you have kids it’s unlikely you’re going to find ‘alone time’ very often. Instead, you’re going to be changing diapers, driving them to sports, and in general, looking/cleaning after them. Don’t get me wrong—I am not condemning spending time with your children. There just needs to be a line drawn for when you need a break from the realities of parenthood to make some time for training. If you cannot afford to hire a babysitter, hand them off to Aunt Barbara and Uncle George. They’ll take good care of them, and you’ll finally have that desired ‘alone time’ to work your body to the maximum and become fit!
3. Work out with your children
Depending on the age of your children and exactly how you are training, sometimes you could run with your child in a pram, or you could get your child to jog along with you if you’re alone; in essence, get your children involved. If you work out at a gym, see if there’s anything for them to do there. Encourage them to become healthy with you, and be a positive role model in their lives. This, however, depends on many variables. But, something can be arranged to benefit everyone.
4. Start earlier than usual
This point may seem similar to the first point, but it’s not. Instead of it being earlier in the sense of morning, it’s in the sense of time before the marathon. In other words: begin training six months before the marathon if you know you’re going to be stumped time-wise, and you can’t do much about it. Distribute training over a long period of time, and try your best to stick with it. Providing you acquire the fitness and shape you’re aiming for, this is a completely viable solution to a very real problem.
5. Run away from distractions
Turn off the television, put the magazine down, and go for a run. Imagine you’re being chased by the television, and all you want to do is run and become fit for a marathon. This includes weekends and other days you may not have to work, as well as times after work. It may seem impossible with all the commitments and obligations, but I hope that after a while, you’ll soon adapt to living without distractions. Worst comes to worst, you throw the distractions out [as long as they’re not alive!] and get to work.
6. Schedule your workouts
When I say schedule, I mean write it down with all your other commitments, and stick with it. Simply writing what you need to do can be a motivating factor, and even more so if you actually follow through with your schedule. Don’t make excuses: when the clock strikes the time you have written to work out, do it. Drop everything and start working out. Tell your friends and family not to make any plans during those times, and have them respect the fact that you’re changing your life for the better. If they don’t like it, tough luck. Maybe you could even invite them to join you—running and working out with someone could be the motivation you need to train.
Time may be running out, but it’s going to run out faster if you’re unhealthy. By following the necessary steps to becoming fit to run a marathon, it’s inevitable that you’ll change mentally and physically for the better. Step out of your house, and get crackin’.
This was first published in the February 2015 issue of Complete Wellbeing.
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