Celebrate the Small Milestones

Today I managed to wake up earlier than usual and ran for 56 minutes.  This is GREAT for me because I wasn't able to run this long last weekend.  I'll reward myself tonight with a couple beers and I'll sleep a bit more (and run less) tomorrow morning.

The Santa Barbara Marathon is still 7 months away and I just started my training, but my goal is to accomplish something each week that I feel good about.  Then share it with someone.

Training for a goal 7, 9, 12 months away isn't easy.  There will be peaks and valleys, bad days and good days, perky days and sick days, feeling great days and feeling injured days.  So each week, pick something to cheer about what you've accomplished.

Keep a log of your daily/weekly mileage.  Your goal should be to gradually increase your mileage each week, say by 10%.   Every 3rd or 4th week though, if you're tired, back off the mileage and give your body some rest.

By tracking your mileage and what you've , you will be able to find things to cheer, be it your longest run to date or reaching a weekly mileage goal.

Set some intermediate goals other than training and mileage while training for a marathon.  Throw some 5K, 10K and half marathon races into your schedule every now and then.  If your first 10K is 55 minutes, then find another 10K to try to break your "PR" (personal record). Create some goals to motivate yourself.

Find other runners to share your goals with.  You'll find some local clubs and groups here.  Better yet, sign up for some local races and you'll be sure to meet other runners and walkers.