Famed running aficionado John “The Penguin” Bingham has twenty tips for happy training. In part-three, The Penguin outlines five more tips to get you on the road to more enjoyable running.
11. Chutes and Ladders
A long distance training program is a lot like the old board game Chutes and Ladders. In the first few weeks of training the program seems like a ladder. The mileage goes up, your pace gets faster, and you think that the progress will last forever.
But, then you hit one of the Chutes. Your mileage cuts back. You miss a workout or two and have to start a few days back. Just remember that the cycle of success is normal. Going backwards is just as important as going forward.
12. Gathering Momentum
As the end starts to come into sight, it’s time to focus on gathering your momentum towards race day. Now is the time to check the wear on your shoes, the state of your socks, and the completeness of your race day wardrobe.
It’s also a good time to go back and reread your training log. Look at the time and the miles that you’ve already put in. Look at how much more you’ve done than you have left to do.
13. Running Ugly
Even good athletes have bad days. Even good runners have days when they don’t want to run. The closer it gets to race day the more pressure you may feel to make every workout a great workout. It may not happen.
Stay with your program. Trust in your training. Don’t worry about the quality of any particular workout. Focus on the quality of the days and weeks and months that you’ve already put in.
14. Unknown territory
By now many of your long runs may be personal records. If this was your first half marathon training program you may have been running farther than you’ve ever run week after week.
You’ve been an explorer in unknown territory. You’ve boldly gone where you’ve never gone before, and you’ve not only survived but you’ve gotten stronger. You have become what you set out to be. A long distance athlete.
15. Energy Management
The essence of long distance athletics is energy management. It doesn’t matter if you’re Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France or a regular person getting ready for a half marathon; energy management is the key to success.
And it’s not just your physical energy that you’ve got to monitor and manage, but your emotional a psychic energy as well. As you taper your physical training it’s a good time to calm your emotions. You’re nearly there. It’s time to relax and get ready.