Motivation for marathon training
Marathon training is a challenge.
There is no sugarcoating this nor would I want to with my readers here at rundreamachieve.com.
Achievement in this sport comes from an unwavering commitment to succeed.
It doesn’t matter if you are a 6 hour marathoner or trying to break the 2.10.00 barrier.
You have to have the motivation for marathon training.
We all have a choice as to how good we want to become in this sport.
Marathon preparation can be taught but it is up to the runner how disciplined he or she wants to be.
I remember the many failures I had a long the way trying to better my own marathon performances.
It was tough.
I trained for nearly 7 years in Colorado, at high altitudes and most of the time alone.
I wanted to break 2.22.00 for the marathon distance when I was still a 2.43.36 athlete.
It was a massive amount of time and dedication spent trying to achieve a very difficult goal and no one held my hand through it.
I will have to endure the same fight in trying to break 2.15.00 at the age of 39.
There are major benefits in training with a group, that doesn’t mean you always have to follow the status quo, do what everyone else is doing either.
How would you feel if you were able to do a 20-mile long run at or near the pace you want to hold in the marathon by yourself?
You had no outside assistance from a training partner but did that effort on your own?
I am sure it would give you an additional boost of confidence leading into your marathon race.
Training with a group, in most but not all cases, can surely benefit runners in that it makes hitting specific paces easier.
You are not thinking as much about the pace you are aiming to hit but keeping up with the group.
There is also a drafting effect where you actually work less if you are running behind another runner.
We all know this.
Have you ever been in a race and someone was trying to draft off of you?
This is certainly a wise technique but often times it irritates other runners.
I remember watching Haile Gebressalassie at the London Marathon drafting off Patrick Makau (current world record holder for the marathon) and Makau started to zig-zag back and forth across the road.
He was clearly trying to test Haile, see if he could react or not.
Relying on other runners
You have to prepare well enough, have ample motivation for marathon training where you can make any changes in pace on your own come race day.
There are going to be times in the race where you will not have other runners to rely on.
You will have to maintain the pace yourself.
Alas, the reasoning behind finding the importance in doing hard training on your own.
I have been in countless races over the years where I was in the middle stages of a marathon totally alone.
My last serious attempt at the marathon distance came in November of 2011 at the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon.
I was trying to run more conservative than I did when I broke 2.20.
I was three seconds off my half-marathon personal record through the half-marathon point (1.07.09) when I ran 2.19.35. I had company that day through the 21 mile mark and it helped tremendously.
Indianapolis was different.
I let the leaders spin their wheels and it took me 10 miles (hit in 53.31) to catch up to them. I ran by myself from mile 1 to when I caught up to the lead Kenyans.
Find the courage and mental fortitude in your training so that you will be able to handle being uncomfortable come race day.
You will not be intimidated by running alone if you have to because you have prepared for this in training.
That being said, having the group to race with will only make your overall race experience that more beneficial.
Be Mentally Tough
What you are doing in training on your own is learning to deal with being uncomfortable with no outside help.
Why is this so important?
If you can learn to hit specific paces at or below the pace you want to hold in the race by yourself, think of how much easier the pace is going to feel when you do have people to compete with.
It is certainly wise to take heed to the drafting technique, but also respect the runners you are competing against and don’t simply use them for your own benefit.
I am deadly serious when I compete and perhaps the above statement sounds somewhat soft but I always prepare at extreme levels in training so I can create my own outcome come race day.
You are not always going to be able to rely on other runners when going for a personal best.
There are going to be times when you have to take destiny into your own hands, take some risks and have to do the work yourself.
Does it always work?
There are times you are going to do everything right in training and still miss the goal but it sure beats living with the regret of not doing your homework at a.
Marathon Success Is A Choice
You either have two choices. Sit back and wonder what can be done and do something about it or live the rest of your life in regret having not tried at all.
Failure in this sport is not the end.
The best marathon runners in the world have suffered setbacks.
Haile Gebressalassie ran 10 kilometers to and from school, for ten years yet how many people have failed to realize that crucial fact?
The event is glorified while the process it took to reach it is forgotten.
People don’t just become great at anything.
There has to be an immense dedication and motivation for marathon success or anything else for that matter.
You have to love it.
Haile is arguably the best runner the world has ever seen but he also had the willingness and motivation for marathon training that few use.
You do not have talent, that is fine. You were born with commitment – Seth Godin
He has failed as well as had a few DNF’s.
The problem with the world is that the faster you get, the more achievements you collect, the more others expect of you.
Live up to your expectations
You will experience far less motivation in your marathon training if you entertain the idea of trying to please others.
This is a sport where no one can give you fulfillment but yourself. Marathon training demands a great deal of the athletes mental and physical energy.
You have to give it your all or you are always going to wonder what could have been.
Please don’t look back 20 to 40 years down the road and have to wonder if you gave your all in preparing for that dream goal you have in mind.
To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift – Steve Prefontaine
Your willingness to persist in the face of trials, setbacks and frustration is going to make the difference between achieving your end goal or wallowing in mediocrity.
The running community, who are far too caught up in times, prize purses and shoe contracts, confuse mediocrity with being slow and not measuring up to the world’s elite runners.
Mediocre is half assing your efforts and living with the knowledge that you simply didn’t care enough.
You want to run a specific time but aren’t willing to hurt and endure long enough to see it through.
Mediocrity is living with regret knowing full well that you had been given a gift and didn’t use it to your maximum ability.
I want to see a 6 hour marathoner break 4 hours.
I love getting emails from people who have told me they made a breakthrough in their running by anything written on this site.
A man I coach has dropped nearly an hour and half off his marathon best.
I have another athlete who has dropped 15 minutes off his half-marathon best.
It doesn’t matter if you are male, female, white, black, brown whatever…stay away from thinking you don’t matter.
Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone
Wanting to do something is not enough.
We all would like to run faster, lose weight but we all get comfortable with where we are at in life.
We seek out security in our daily lives in running and outside of running.
The magic starts to happen when you get away from the comfort zone and becoming better friends with pain.
The difference between those who have lost large amounts of weight and time off of their personal bests is they have found a way to see pleasure in effort whereas others see pain.
If you are a 4 hour marathoner, it doesn’t mean you are mediocre as long as you are maximizing your time and effort daily.
Get out of the comfort zone.
Resistance and procrastination are the enemy.
Find your motivation for marathon training and use it to the maximum.
I look forward to reading about your future success and breakthroughs.