I’ve been running marathons for more than half my life. You’d think I’d know what to expect by now. But there are a few running reminders I need to give myself every time I start a new marathon training cycle.
Even after 20+ marathons, every single time, a few things take me by surprise. I’m not sure how that is possible, and yet it is.
So now I have a list. Before I register for the next great adventure, I pull it out and remind myself of what I am in for.
It’s more mentally challenging that I expect.
Physically, do the training runs and it’s all good.
Mentally, now that is where the real challenge lies. The real struggle, especially during the long runs, is battling the little inner voice telling me it’s hard and I should stop. To succeed, I’ll need to learn as many mental exercises as physical ones.
Long runs are really, really long. They take a really long time to finish. It will take every bit of my willpower to keep going, not because I can’t physically go on, but because I am bored and want to stop.
Don’t make an impulsive decision (for example: to quit) immediately after a long run. Especially if it was a bad one.
Bad runs will happen. Wanting to quit will happen. Do not let those two items meet.
Go home, shower, eat real food, take a nap. If I’m really are going to consider quitting, make sure it is because I no longer want to run the marathon, not because it is hard.
I will need a good jog bra, good shoes, and a good training plan. Stick with what works. Everything else can be experimented with.
I am capable of so much more than I can imagine.
I have never met anyone who on day 1 of training thought: “I am totally capable of doing this.”
I include myself in this. I’ve finished many, many marathons, and there still is a glimmer of doubt when I start.
There is always some degree of worry. Many people think: ‘maybe I can do this, maybe I can’t, but what the hell, let’s give it a try.’
Ignore the doubt and the concerns. Focus on doing the work each day. I can totally do it.
And you can totally do it too.