by Matthew LeJune on Unsplash

Today will begin my training for a half marathon — 21.1km — which is due to take place 17th November 2018. As mentioned in a previous article — Take Time Off From Exercise (Guilt-Free) see below — I have done very little exercise in the past five months. Besides starting at the local boxing club a few weeks back I have done very little in the way of fitness training. And definitely no running.

So why take on this challenge with such little time to prepare?

The event is held in Kerikeri, New Zealand and is run by the Cancer Society. The reason I have decided to take on this challenge with only four weeks to prepare is not only to show support for the outstanding work the event organizers do but also — on a slightly more selfish note — I love to challenge myself.

‘What is life without challenges?’

Having done very little exercise in the past five months and have never run this kind of distance before — my furthest to date was a 15km cross-country/trail run — I believe this will perhaps be my biggest challenge in a long long time. And whilst being nervous, I am also excited for the challenge ahead.

I have always been a person who enjoys testing himself. Setting goals and doing the utmost to achieve them is in my eyes character building. Pushing through the hard times. Making sacrifices. And dealing with adversity really brings to light the type of person you are.

Goals have been set by myself in all areas of life. And while not always achieving my targets, to me that doesn’t always matter. The main thing is to never give up.

‘There is something to be learned in every journey taken’

Planning the next few weeks and sticking to it.

So, now that I’ve committed to this challenge it’s time to make some plans. Much like anything in life, to succeed and reach your goals you must have a plan. A blueprint on how you wish to achieve your goals. Having run quite a bit in the past is an obvious advantage. I know how to pace myself. When to push it and where to let my body recover. All the while moving ever closer to that finish line.

The aim is to get out running at least 3-4 times each week until the week of the event. I plan on distance running to prepare the muscles for the 21.1km ahead but I will also include hill runs in my program to increase stamina and fitness. These runs will be fit in around my weekly visits to the boxing club — which will also help with stamina and fitness. I will perform this routine in the weeks leading up to the event. Though in the final week the focus will be mainly on fueling my body ready for the big event. So in reality, there are only three weeks to prepare — please wish me luck 😁.

I am quietly confident on finishing the race — no matter how long it takes. Like in previous events/races that I have taken part in, the only competition is myself. If I can do a little better each time I test myself then it is a victory. I believe that this is true with everything that you do in life. Focus on being the best version of yourself. Try and outdo yourself in every challenge you come up against. Ignore what others are doing around you and focus solely on the target you wish to hit. Look at the worlds top performers — the Bill Gates, Steve Jobs and Elon Musks of the world — they don’t care what other people are doing because they are focused on achieving their own goals.

There are sure to be some stories to tell on the lead up to and during the event. Epiphanies will occur. Life lessons perhaps. I will write about and share my experiences in a hope to inspire others 👍.

Time to lace up the running shoes and hit the road 👟.

Have you ever run a marathon or half marathon? Any advice would be much appreciated.

P.S — If you happen to live in New Zealand and can make it to Kerikeri on 17th November why not test yourself also.

Thank you for being a part of my writing — and in this case fitness — journey. I appreciate you taking the time to read my article. I hope you enjoyed it.

Name: Ryan J | Blogger and dad | From Northern Ireland, based in Australia | Sharing thoughts as they enter my head. {Insert quote here to sound profound}