Jim Vance offers some easy to follow guidelines to help you to the line of your first marathon.
by Jim Vance
26.2 miles is a daunting task. 26.2 miles of running hard is even more daunting. Visions of a possible meltdown in the last 10K can fill a runner’s mind, as the race always seems to come down to those final, critical miles. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing it after 112 miles on a bike, or if you’re toeing the line fresh and tapered.
If this is your first marathon, then the enormity of the training, not just the race, can seem daunting as well. It seems as though there are a million little things to learn and be conscious of. With this in mind, it’s important to focus on the most critical factors which will lead to a successful performance at the marathon. If you want to do well at the distance, focus on these key points and you’re certain to maximize all the hard work you’ve invested.
There is no key workout, secret training plan, or magical coaching philosophy and style which will ever make up for a lack of consistency in training. Running consistently and following a training plan will make more of a difference in performance than even the specifics of the daily training. If you’re committing to the marathon, you’re not just committing to the race, but to the many months of day-in, day-out training. At times it will be very hard to get through, and at times it will seem too easy to skip a workout, sleep in or convince yourself you’re too tired and need a day off. Stick with the plan and be consistent.
What is the best way to be consistent? Get out the door! As simple as it sounds, too many athletes focus on the enormity of the run, or the workout, and feel defeated before they even begin. Athletes can feel like the 14-mile run is just too far, and they are too tired, never bothering to even get out the door to try. When this happens, athletes will most certainly fail, and lose any opportunity to surprise themselves with their fitness – as well as kill the consistency in their training.
Focus on getting out the door. Whether it’s in the early a.m. hours and you just want to push snooze, or you’ve come home from a long day at work, feeling like it’s just too much to train. Quit thinking about the distance, and focus on getting on your clothes and out the door as soon as possible. The common mistake of delaying getting out the door often allows athletes to talk themselves out of a workout. In the words of Joseph Addison, “He who hesitates is lost.” Get out the door as soon as possible!Pages: 1 2