Marathon training midway point

12 Aug

I write this as I watch the Men’s Marathon of the Olympics. I must have felt like an Olympian yesterday because I felt great during my 26km run and ran much faster than I should of for my endurance run. I might have also been excited and proud. I ran 26km – that’s the longest distance I’ve ever run! I even ran it in 2hr 23min! I would have to say that’s not too bad.

But yesterday was the half way point of my marathon training and I’ve learned a few things that I would like to share with you.

1) Follow your training plan and get your weekly mileage in: A few distractions have come up when I’ve had long runs planned, but I’ve remained diligent and flexible to to do those runs on a different day.

2) Listen to your  body: Sometimes your body feels good but your head just isn’t there and you make mistakes or take short cuts. It could also be the other way around: you feel great but your body is tired or you’re nursing an injury. But I think the biggest obstacle in this case is distinguishing the negative thoughts and doubts from real pain. This is where my third lesson comes in.

3) Have a mantra bank: Keep a bank of inspirational quotes/chants (i.e. the longer I run, the stronger I become), proud moments, a specific goals (i.e. crossing the finish line with a smile), or a special treat you’re running for (i.e. coffee, ice cream, etc). Pull out any of those images when things aren’t going too well and you will be inspired to continue.

4) Don’t forget your Batman utility belt: Ok, it’s not a Batman utility belt. It’s actually much nerdier, but it is useful! One a hot day or long runs, it’s important to stay hydrated. So a water belt is handy. It’s really handy to have a water belt with a pouch or two. I carry a few dates and almonds and some money (just in case).

5) Be prepared to hurt: Running long distances are, inevitably, going to hurt. I think if you can accept that from early on and just bear with it, it will make you stronger and will push you to the finish.

Reflecting on my training so far I’d have to say that I’ve been consistent with my training and I’ve run a total of 314km. I’ve been flexible when weddings or weekend getaways have come up. I think I need to work on my nutrition. I can’t let myself pig out after a long run. I need to fuel my body with the nutrients I just used. I also need to keep up the good and positive attitude towards running. Never lose sight of where I want to be on October 21. The starting line is no place to start doubting and thinking “Have I trained enough?” I want to arrive at that start line confident and calm.

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