7 Ways to stick to a race training plan

Nov 20, 2013 at 1:57 a.m. ET

Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell, the mother runners behind, well, Another Mother Runner, share their sure-fire tips for sticking to a training plan.

Unlike a 5K or 10K, you can't wing a half-marathon. You've got to find a training plan — then follow it, more or less. Here are seven ways to stick with it.

Make—don't find—time to train

Unfortunately, magic daylight hours aren't hidden under your couch cushions like spare change. So commit to waking up earlier than you'd like, running on your lunch break or skipping Homeland (unless you watch while on a treadmill).

Talk it up

Telling your co-workers and family about your training and race plans helps keep you accountable.

Add it to your calendar

Program your workouts into your iCal alongside your appointment with your colorist and therapist. (Running might not make your hair blonder, but it'll certainly lighten your mood.)

Find friends

Having a BRF — best running friend — by your side can make the miles easier (not easy, just easier). If you don't know someone who's training for the same race or distance, enlist gal pals to join you for portions of your longer runs — the first half of a 10-miler or the final three when you're running eight.

Go virtual

Use a running-related social media app like Daily Mile or Strava for regular doses of encouragement and inspiration.

Reward yourself

Whether it's a sticker chart or a pumpkin-spice latte after a 5-miler, we approve.

Don't think — just go

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When you're lying in bed and don't want to get up to run, when you've got 35 other things on your to-do list or when your kid (or boss or spouse) is giving you a guilt-trip about running — just head out the door.

The SheKnows running team is running its first half marathon at the P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon & 1/2 Marathon event. Register and join them in January!

Photo credit: Eryn Kessler Photography

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