Five Questions to Ask Yourself During Your Final Weeks of Training, and a Confession

The Marathon is just 4 weeks away! You’ve worked hard. You are mentally and physically ready; and now it’s time to polish your training rituals to do your best on Marathon Day.  The best way to do that is to reflect on what you’ve learned about your body along this journey, and to refine your plans accordingly.  Keeping in mind that Marathon weekend is NOT the time to try something new, here are some questions you need to ask yourself. If your answers to any of the questions below is “no”, you’ve got four weeks (including 3 group Sunday runs) to make the necessary adjustments. If you need guidance in any of these areas, feel free to talk to me or Anna.

1) Am I pain-free? If yes, awesome! If not, please see Dr. Hannan ASAP, and follow his advice about stretching and strengthening.

2) Do I have the right clothing and gear?  If you are not chafing anywhere, haven’t gotten blisters, and are happy with how you are carrying your phone (if you choose to do so), you’re good.   If you have discomfort, start trying new clothing and gear until it feels right.

3) Am I pacing myself appropriately? If you’re getting to the end of the long runs/walks thinking “I feel great, and yes, I could go a few more miles”, you’re good.  If not, experiment with either slowing down your overall pace, or mixing in more walking with your running.  One approach is to try walking for the first minute of each mile, then going back to your normal pace. 

4) Am I eating the right pre-run dinner and breakfast?  If you’re still feeling strong after 6-8 miles, the answer is probably yes.  If you’re starting to feel like you’re running out of energy at that point, try the following 3 changes: eat more carbs and less fat and protein for dinner the night before; eat more “good carbs” (oatmeal, whole wheat bread, pancakes, cereal, etc.) for breakfast at least 30 minutes before you start; and drink lots of water with dinner and breakfast.

5) Am I feeling as strong for the last few miles as I did for the first few?  If yes, keep doing what you’re doing.  If not, try drinking and eating more at the rest stops and/or along the way. Today, as I was approaching the full marathon turnaround, I confess that I was thinking about how lousy I felt, how slow I was going, and that I should just quit when I got back to the first water stop and get a ride back to BTS for the last 5 miles.  But, I had lots of water at that turnaround point, and had a GU at mile 10 and again at mile 14. Within minutes of leaving that turnaround point, I was so full of energy that I surprised myself by how much faster I was able to run and how good I felt for the second half of the route. Proper hydration and nutrition really works.

 GO TEAM!!!

Your answers to “What Training for the Marathon Taught Me”

As I mentioned in last week’s Coaches Corner, during our training on January 28, everyone was given the opportunity to write their thoughts on one or both of the posters, each one with a different prompt: “What being part of the Marathon Team means to me” and “Training for the Marathon taught me”.  Last week, I shared the responses to the first prompt, and now I’m sharing the responses on the second poster.  I hope you are all as inspired by each other as I am by each of you.

 I’m stronger than I thought.
-Jacqueline

 I can achieve my goals no matter how ridiculous
-Zack

 That the impossible is possible, and I don’t know the meaning of giving up.
-Robin

 To get out of bed even when I don’t want to
-Lexy

 To set goals and finish them.  A goal is a dream with a deadline.  Now I’m living my dream.
-Jonathan

 No matter how much it hurts, keep pushing forward to accomplish my goals and commitments!
-Adam F.

 Feels so good!  Baby steps at first.
-Sally P.

 Consistency and commitment to something greater than myself
-Anonymous

 Commitment, passion, determination, persistence
-Lauren

That this isn’t going to be easy and that life isn’t always going to be easy either.  Sometimes you have to push through the tough times and stay on the right path.  You’ll eventually get to your destination.
-Amy P.

 GO TEAM!!!

Five Responses to “What Being Part of the Marathon Team Means to Me”

Everyone who attended the training on Sunday was giving the opportunity to write their thoughts on one or both of the posters, each one with a different prompt: “What being part of the Marathon Team means to me” and “Training for the Marathon taught me…”.  This week, I’ll be sharing the responses to the first prompt, and you’ll see the responses to the second prompt in next week’s Coaches Corner.  These words brought tears to my eyes, and I hope they touch you just as much, if not more.

Community and support.  Thanks everyone.
-Justina

 Being on this team gives me a sense of community and hope for the future.
-Zack

 That sometimes we carry others and other times we are carried.  Sometimes we need to be loved when we can’t love ourselves, and love others when they feel vulnerable.  We go through the season and need each other.
-Robin

 Accountability to others as well as myself
-Anonymous

 That I’m no longer alone.  I have support in something greater than myself.  I’ve always wanted to do a marathon.  It’s a milestone I longed for. Now I can make that happen with the love and support of this team.  Thank you for letting me be a part of something greater than myself.
-Amy P

Thanks to each of you for taking the time to share your thoughts and to inspire each of us.  If you weren’t there and would like to share your thoughts, I encourage you to add a comment to our Facebook group.

GO TEAM!!!