This all began back in April 2010 when my girlfriend emailed me our training schedule. I had already signed up for the Chicago Marathon, but that didn't seal the deal. It was the schedule…that, to me, meant it was GO time. I am no stranger to training, and my favorite part has always been the home stretch. So my friends, if you are going to be at the start line with me on Oct 9th in lovely Chicago, then you too are in the home stretch of training. Although the words bring a smile to my face, what they actually stand for is some not-so-easy miles.
Over the next couple of weeks, I will log most miles of my training, which will include an 18- and 20-miler as well as some pretty hefty track and hill workouts. These workouts make the tough, tougher, and those that were scared, confident. These long runs will be hard! There is nothing easy about marathon training. In fact, I am going to go out on a limb and say that the training is harder than the race itself. That ought to make you feel better.
There are a few things I would like my fellow runners to keep in mind over the next few weeks:
- If you have bad pain, now is not the time to run through it. You have already put in a ton of work. Don't risk your chance of being able to run the event…rest could be your best friend.
- If you are feeling too tired to go on and want to quit, take it street by street. While running, set your goal as just one more mile or just a few more blocks. Once you reach that goal, do it again. I find this helpful when I get into the teens of my long runs. If you don't have any serious pain, you can always go farther than you think.
- Be sure to “eat right” for your long runs. The meal that makes the difference is the night before. Don't think just carbs. I had a great marathon once eating almost an entire roasted chicken. Your body needs some protein to keep going! And the combination of carbs and proteins will help your muscles heal.
- Hydrate well before you start to sweat…that means the day before! And don't stop until the day after your run.
- Think about why you’re running when the going gets rough. We all have reasons why we are pushing ourselves to do this. Dig deep for your motivation and inspiration.
And when it comes time to rest before the race….enjoy that as well. Happy running!