As my husband and I begin training this week for our next marathon I have been reflecting on our past training plans and trying to compile lists of what worked for us and what didn’t. Upon this reflection I also came to a realization that although, frequently the race is what we strive for, the process itself of getting there is important to acknowledge.
I came across this quote today:
“It’s important to know that, at the end of the day, it’s not medals you remember. What you remember is the process: what you learn about yourself by challenging yourself, the experiences you share with other people, the honesty the training demands–those are things nobody can take away from you whether you finish twelfth or you’re an Olympic champion.”
I can honestly say that running has not only created friendships for me but renewed old ones as well. Running has now become more of a way of life for me than just an activity. I am excited to be able to share my training with my husband and I feel energized every time I talk to my cousins and uncle about their running success and compare training tips.
Here are the improvements I plan to make in this training season:
1.Set a goal that is challenging but achievable.
Before my first marathon I had 3 goal times. Each depending on how I was feeling. After beating my fastest of the 3 goal times I realized I may have not set my goals high enough. However, my next marathon I did the opposite and became over confident- setting the bar too high. This ended up hurting me overall. Find a goal that is realistic to your ability but still a challenge and test yourself throughout training. I love running halfs when I am training for a full. It is a great way to test your time and prepare you mentally for race day.
2.Create a plan and manage your time.
With working opposite schedules my husband and I plan out our weekly runs typically on Sunday. This way we can figure out what days will work best for us to run in the am or in the pm- and we are able to hold each other accountable. (It helps to have an accountabil-a-buddy!) My goal this time is to work more on my time management- that means no more snooze button!
3. Be willing to train in any weather.
This one I personally need to work on. The cold has been getting to me but my husband always says the one thing you cannot control on race day is the weather. Training in it just means you will be more prepared if the weather is bad on race day. We ran the Madison Marathon in November and woke up to snow. I will admit it threw me for a bit of a loop.
4. Don’t be afraid of Resting and Rolling.
I have come full circle on this. At the start of my training last year I thought when I was feeling good I should continue to push myself. You will never know unless you test the limits, right? I am now a number one advocate for rest days and cross training. I value my cross train days and look forward to them! And if you don’t own one already go buy a foam roller. Best investment ever.
My last improvement is to improve my diet. People always comment about how healthy my diet must be since I am a runner. However, it is quite the opposite. During the week I do well but I have been known to indulge in some horrifying foods after my long runs. I love the satisfying taste of a beer and pizza after a long run- but maybe I should limit it to one beer.
Perhaps someone should have mentioned to Allen Iverson how important practice is in preparing for your games or races, in my case. Because even if we are only talkin bout practice- often practice is the most important part.
Joel and I after a half marathon we used as a “practice race” during training for the Madison Marathon