You must expect great things from yourself before you can do them.Michael Jordan
After a year of virtual runs, thanks to all Australians, we were able to run our first half marathon of the year. We had originally signed up to do our annual full marathon in 2020 which went sideways when covid hit. The races kept getting postponed, we kept training for them. We ended up doing two virtual half marathons in 2020. This year due to previous commitments to traveling and we couldn’t train as hard as we usually do and decided to change our registration from a full marathon to a half marathon.
When people think we are running a race over the weekend, they usually don’t realize how much preparation and training goes on behind each run. Here are some things Jay and I do before every single race.
- I start training 12 -16 weeks ahead. We have set aside weekends when we have our long runs, we workout at the gym during the week. I try to complete at least 80% of my training plans. ( I have had injuries in the past and they are no fun).
- We watch our diet. I am a vego and we usually eat quite healthy anyway but during the training season we avoid alcohol, and junk food. Slowly over the years, because running is such a large part of our lives, we have actually changed our diet to never eat 2 minute noodles, processed foods, sugary drinks (basically any drink except water). Also there is more the running diet than just carbo-loading.
- The system that you set up for your long runs is what is going to work on race day. Make sure to treat every long run like its race day prep-wise. It will really help your body and mind to be prepared. We usually do shorter races that align with our training, so you are training for shorter increments for distance.
At this stage, I have run 6 full marathons, and 15 half marathons. Until last year, I was very highly focussed on breaking my personal record (PR) for the races. FYI my first marathon and my second Half marathon races were my PRs. Since then, every time I would train and do the tempo runs, do the hill workouts, and read up on all the science about breaking PRs, and got disappointed every time I missed it. It was slowly taking the joy out of running.
In today’s race, I had a >70 year old runner running ahead of me. I tried to keep up with him and it was really challenging to be able to keep up with him (I am 32). That’s when I realized, my goal to break my PR is a classic short term goal. PRs are just some numbers that mean more to you than anyone else. The long term goal here is to have that level of fitness when I am 70. It’s not just about today’s race, it is to keep at it to build a healthy and fit life. Running has built a very strong and healthy foundation of having an active life and that’s something worth striving for.
Get fit for life not just for a summer.
It is not easy. it is not comfortable. It is amazing what our bodies are capable of. I am extremely grateful to be able to run.it is amazing how much your mindset matters over your physical fitness. Also yes I pay money to be able to push my body to run races. and yes I do it for the medals. It is super motivating.
What form of exercise do you prefer?