Marathon training week 1: Find a reason to run

I've targeted the Kingston marathon in October to get a new PB (target sub-3.30, current best 3.38 at Edinburgh in 2014). Over each of the next 16 weeks, I'll be addressing a different aspect of marathon training. Follow me on my journey and tell me about yours!

Once you've signed up for a marathon it's easy to think that the race itself is motivation enough to get out there and do your training runs. You've made a commitment to yourself or to a charity and that should be enough, right? However, it's not always that simple. Maybe the race is so far in the future that it feels like anything you do now isn't going to make any difference (it will). Maybe you're feeling tired (this will become a regular theme). Maybe you'd rather stay home and bake a cake (recommended but not in place of a training run).

In the first week of a training programme, I feel excited about the journey ahead. But after a big spring race (read my not-entirely-to-plan Thames Path 100 race report) and resulting injury, physically I'm not quite where I want to be. So Monday's easy six miles wasn't looking as appetising as it usually might. Unlike some people, I'm at the stage of my running that I'll go whether I really want to or not. Having said that, the news that the car from Back to the Future (my all-time favourite film) was outside the Royal Albert Hall absolutely sold me on a) getting out for a run and b) the route I was going to take.

"You built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?!"

"You built a time machine... out of a DeLorean?!"

As a result of my excitement in nearing the car of my dreams (I'm not a big fan of cars generally but this one, with a flux capacitor, and the ability to travel through time, is pretty exciting), I ran mile 3 a bit too quickly (see below - that is not easy pace) but otherwise I'd call it a successful session.

I realise that film memorabilia won't always be available as a motivator, or that it isn't for you, but with a little imagination, you can usually find a reason to run. Maybe take the long way round to the shop you wouldn't normally go to, get the groceries and walk back. Maybe you've got a friend to visit and they're just the right number of miles away for it to fit in with your plan. Or maybe you can make a delivery. I once ran 17 miles across London to deliver some DVDs for our video editor. It saved the company on couriers and I got my long run done.

Thought for the week

Trick yourself if you have to, but get out there. Not if you're injured or completely shattered - I'll come onto that another week - but if you're just missing your mojo, find a reason to run.

What gets you out on your run if you're not feeling up for it? Please share your tips and tricks in the comments.


Read all the marathon training posts