Wednesday, November 10, 2010
10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Marathoning:
I am far from being an expert or even a well experienced runner, however, I have logged a few miles in my day and have raced and finished 12 marathons now and 2 ultramarathons. Here are 10 things that I wish I knew before I started running marathons and beyond.
1. Be patient. Getting your body and mind ready and in shape to run any distance race simply takes time and effort, it will not happen over night and you cannot cram your training in last minute.
2. Run your hard training days harder and your easy recovery days easier. Often runners don't do their hard workouts hard enough then go too hard on the days they should be recovering. There is no advantage in pushing on easy days.
3. Shoes won't make your race but they could break you. Shoes are not that important in my opinion unless you have the wrong ones. Make sure to go to a good running store with a knowledgeable staff that are runners.
4. Don't be afraid to push yourself. Given the proper training and nutrition your body is capable of almost anything don't limit yourself.
5. Everyone is unique. There is no universal training program that will work for everyone. Running is such an individual sport that the only way to really know what's best for you is to get out there and try different programs until you know you body enough to figure out what will work best for you.
6. If you really want to get fast. Long tempo runs, in my opinion are the key to improving your marathon time, they closely replicate the actual race. They're tough but worth it.
7. Sometimes less is more. There is a lot of debate on the barefoot and minimalist shoe argument and you have to figure out what works best for you but often times I think that less is often more when it comes to running shoes.
8. Read up. The more you know about anything the better prepared you will be, so read up on running, there are plenty of great websites, books, blogs, and magazines out there.
9. Avoid Injuries. The number one concern throughout my running career is walking the fine line between pushing yourself to the limit and avoiding injury. Unfortunately there is a lot of trial and error, but them better you know you limits the better you can judge when to push and when to back off.
10. Leave no doubt. Every question or doubt I ever had while training for a race disappeared or was answered as soon as I crossed the finish line. Completing a race is one of the best feelings in the world if you know that going in it makes the miles a little less painful.