Hmmm, where to begin? We’re 1/3 of the way through our training. Yay, right?! Well, not really. This is no time to celebrate. Yes, we should be proud of ourselves for what we have accomplished over the past 4 weeks but we need to also remember that the next 8 weeks of training (most specifically, the next 6) are crucial weeks for training.
I am noticing a definite difference in the training this time. I’m a little concerned that some are not taking this training seriously enough. Now, with that being said, i’m certainly not here to scold you or to be your babysitter but i do hope that i’m here to provide you with the tools you need to run a good race and the motivation to get your workouts in. I have really just sat back and watched over the last 4 weeks and haven’t wanted to say much yet about motivation (i’ll get to more of that in a minute) but we are truly coming up on weeks that will require a little more determination and devotion…so, here i am.
The general rule of thumb for injury prevention is to make sure you’re running at least the same amount of miles during the week that you’re running on your long runs. So, this saturday we will run 7 miles. That means you should run at least 7 sometime between monday and thursday- remember, i like for you not to run on friday’s since it’s the day before the long runs. Our program is set up so that we will be able to accomplish this without a lot of difficulty each week. This has made it pretty easy to skip runs over the last 4 weeks but once we hit 8 miles for our long run, it will be a little more important to either run all 3 runs during the week (either on your own or with the group) OR, if you’re only going to do 2 other runs during the week, then you will need to alter the mileage on your weekday runs. Get with me about this and we’ll figure it out.
Ok, on to motivation…i’m thinking there are several things going on:
1) it’s ridiculously cold outside! trust me, i hate the cold weather more than anyone. it is so hard to get up and put on about a thousand layers of clothes to go outside in the dark and run. i am fine with you running on your own later in the day or on a treadmill. here’s the deal though. you know it and i know it- if you’re not meeting the group to run with, more than likely you’re not going to get your runs in. i am a trainer and have a really good “exercise ethic” but i’m even more likely to get my run in when with the group. all i’m asking here is that you’re being honest with yourself.
2) “i’ve done one half marathon already so surely i can do nashville with no problem”- soooo not the case! not because it’s nashville, but because you still have to be conditioned. you can’t go off of conditioning from a past race. for those of you who did st. jude, this is your time to shine! now is when you know you can finish a half marathon and you have a time to beat! the speed drills and tempo runs are so important for you. this is the best way to get stronger and faster. just because you’ve done 1 race does not mean you should slack off of this training.
3) loss of motivation- this is common and keith reminded me that it was around this time in our st jude training that this started to happen. so, what do you do about it? find it! get it back! what do you need from me? i’ll do whatever to help you find your motivation. want me to show up with pom poms? ok. really though, it’s tough to maintain a strong level of motivation for 12 weeks and especially if you’ve had some bad runs in the past few weeks (Remember- you have to have some bad runs to make you appreciate the good ones!) but you can do it. that’s what the group is for. we’re all here for each other. the more of us that show up for runs, the more support we each have. one of the best things that works for me is visualization- i can either visualize myself in pain and miserable at the end of nashville or i can visualize myself finishing with a proud smile. personally i prefer the proud smile.
You all need to pat yourselves on the back and remember how far you’ve come. Remember, if running were easy everyone would do it. It’s tough but you’ve got to figure out how to have fun with it. Every run i do is a struggle for me but i’ve never finished a run mad that i did it. I have, however, been mad at myself a zillion times for runs i didn’t do. It’s time to shake off the negative thoughts and visualize that finish! The more conditioned you are, the sweeter that finish will be.
Here’s to my super supportive, laid back, friendly, fun, and motivated group! Let’s run!