- Weight loss. (ha!)
- Increase in stamina and physical endurance.
- Improvement in general fitness level.
- Build muscle.
- Increase in mental toughness.
Now, if you really know me then you know that I've always struggled with my weight. And unfortunately, marathon training has not lead to a decrease on the scale. But I am no longer so focused with whatever numbers show up on the scale or what size clothes I'm wearing. Training has made me realize what my body was built for- movement- and how to best prepare for an awesome performance on race day. My body has become something so much more important to me than what I weigh and I'm taking better care of myself (in many areas!) as a result.
So what does that mean? For me, it means doing really simple, healthy behaviors that I have neglected for far too long. Here's what habits have changed and why:
- Drinking water- a lot of it. Why? To stay hydrated, especially during race week. I LOVE diet soda but have replaced much of what I used to drink with water.
- Taking a daily vitamin or Emergen-C. Why? To keep myself as strong as possible to fight potential infections. Running is not fun when you've got a cold or something worse.
- Flossing more regularly. Why? See above- I want to minimize my risk for any type of infection.
- Eating balanced meals. Why? To feel awesome before, during, and after a run/race. It's amazing what proper nutrition can do!
- Sleeping at least seven hours each night. Why? Getting enough sleep helps me feel energized and rested after a long week of running.
What's even more surprising is that I came to all picking up these habits on my own, out of a genuine desire to stay healthy through training and the racing season. It didn't require a doctor breathing down my neck about what I should or should not be doing. I've made improvements to my health because I wanted to for me. And not to improve my weight or how I looked, but to be strong and healthy and fit. My goal for all future races? Finish upright, smiling, and stronger for the next one :-)
What's the biggest change you've noticed since you started training?