This is an exciting time of year for me. Marathon training season! Does that sound odd? I don’t know if people think as marathon training as a time of year, but for me as a coach, I get an influx of runners beginning their training for the larger U.S. marathons, as well as smaller marathons that occur in the Fall. My runners training for the Chicago, Marine Corp, and New York City Marathons have already begun training and my runners in smaller marathons will begin their training over the next three months. Hip, hip, hooray! Planning training for these runners has inspired this blog about the do’s and don’ts of training.
Many people have found what “works” for them, but maybe they have hit a plateau in their races, but not the ceiling for their potential. Tough to know the difference, but you don’t know until you break away from what you have been doing repeatedly that has given you the same result, or worse - undesirable results. One example would be the runner that trains a lot and trains fast but ends up running their race slower than many of their training runs. If you aren’t wearing a bib, why are you running fast? There are metabolic adaptions that occur when you run a lot of miles at easier paces, but when there is too much intensity in too many of your running days throughout the week, you are at the point of diminishing returns. Aren’t we all looking for more bang for our buck? This is true in every aspect of life, right? One should reap the rewards of their labor on race day. That said, do not write checks your body cannot cash. Be good to your body during training and it will be good to you. This includes having rest days throughout the week, not doing challenging workouts/paces on consecutive days, fuel your body with premium fuel only, prioritize sleep, and understand to become a better runner, one must run…run easy, not fast, except during certain quality run sessions, carefully placed in relation to your race day.
All the above sounds simple, doesn’t it? Okay, maybe the prioritizing sleep can be a challenge with work, school, family, and training. But as far as I’m concerned many of the others listed above are choices you make. How you fuel your body is your choice. Figuring out when you can fit your training runs into your life and getting them done is your choice. Running easy on easy days when your friends may be hammering the pace is your choice to do what is best for you, despite what others may be doing. These are all commitments you make to yourself to stay on track. This is the difference between discipline and motivation. Whenever I am asked about how to stay motivated, people don’t like my answer. Why, you ask? I give them a textbook answer based on what exercise psychology research has to say about motivation, most specifically from behavioral change research, diet and exercise. The bottom line is that motivation comes from within. The most powerful motivation is internal motivation, not external. Motivation doesn’t come from me, the coach, it comes from you, the runner. I can give you a run/workout that I know will build your self-confidence once you have done it, which will then help foster your internal motivation, but if you aren’t disciplined to do the run/workout, then it isn’t that I didn’t motivate you, it is that you are not disciplined towards your goals and commitment to self. Bottom line.
Don’t run too little. Don’t run too much. Don’t run too fast. AND be disciplined and take ownership of YOUR goals. Those are my training tips folks! I want to emphasize that I can give a runner runs/workouts that will build self-confidence which can foster motivation. I have done it for a lot of runners and I can do it for you and virtually too, no matter where you live in the world! Check out the services page on runwithgina.com for the cheapest prices in town…at least for now anyway, so act fast! If you are reading my blog posts from the website, please like/follow the Run With Gina Facebook page for even more valuable information. Thanks for reading and happy training!