Marathon Training : Some long-run nerves
A quick pre-run post today, written before my big run while I let my breakfast settle, so apologies for no picture and any haphazard writing.
My marathon is 3 weeks away today, so I’m about to start my taper. The key words being “about to start”.
Today is my 20m/32km run, the longest of my build-up and longest run in almost two years (2012 was marathon free as I did the London-Brighton 100km overnight walk instead).
I’d be lying if I said there weren’t any nerves. I think it’s natural to be nervous about going long, longer than you have in a while. However I’m trying to counter the nerves with:
2) Trust in my training
Routine works well for me. By managing the things I can control, it engenders a positive feeling of preparation for a successful workout.
- Yesterday I re-checked my route for distance. It’s an extension of a previous run so I know the entire course, I don’t want to have the hassle of course-finding while pushing out 20 miles.
- Last night I made sure to lay my gear out and put my Garmin on charge. I then set my alarm to ensure I was up on time.
- This morning I had my usual pre-long-run breakfast of oat porridge and agave nectar (lower GI than honey or sugar), a pint of water and a short black coffee.
- To fill the time between eating and running, I engage in ‘distraction’ exercises. In my case, this blog entry with some low, but ‘uplifting’ music. If not writing I might read a magazine or watch videos from the ‘Inspire’ page of my blog. Just something quiet, uplifting and generally on a subject about what I’m about to do
Trust in my Training
This is not always easy to do, and an even harder thing to learn.
- I’m following my training schedule. I had a cut-back week last week to recuperate before this session and made all my mileage and times. Fretting about whether I should have gone that extra mile over and above the schedule because I felt good on Tuesday, or should have gone faster in my 3/1 workout on Wednesday is not helpful for ‘frame of mind’ and mentally focuses you on what’s past, not what’s coming.
- I have to trust in my schedule. It is from Hal Higdon, who has probably got more amateurs through marathons than any other person in the world, and got me through two marathons. If I can’t trust my schedule, what can I trust?
- A marathon doesn’t happen by accident. It is lots of carefully planned steps to get you to be able to complete some 30,000 steps on race day. I have completed those steps up to this point in time, so I have prepared to run this distance.
Now, I do realise that the above is written by someone who has done it before. Me. Sure, 20 miles is a long way, but knowing I have done it before takes a lot of the pressure off. For those who are beginners and almost every week is a journey into the unknown of your personal distance or endurance accomplishments, the above can work for you. I’m not saying my way is the only way, or even the best/right way, or anything like that. Just that with routine and trust in your training it will help reduce the nerves about big workouts, and let you focus on the important thing. Getting out and running!