I’m in my 6th week of training and as I’ve said the whole time, I’m “training, but not training”. Sure, I’ll get my runs in and do the best that I can, but the things that make me stress out about training for a marathon (keeping a certain pace and time goal) are not creeping in this time. There is no sense in stressing myself out about those things. I’m running this marathon because I can and for the pure enjoyment of the experience.
With that in mind, that also means I have to change my thought processes on how I attack each run. I cover the gamut! So here is a brief (clean version) look at what goes through my mind leading up to a 5 mile tempo run.
- “I’m going to just run 5 miles.”
- “I’m going to try to hit the middle paces, but if I’m not feeling it, I might change it into a progression run.”
- “If that doesn’t work, I’ll keep it at a steady pace.”
- “Ok, I just finished the first warm-up mile and I feel pretty good. Let me see how this goes.”
- “I got a bit faster on this mile. I still am not too sure I’m feeling this though.”
- “I’m turning this into mile repeats until the weather cools down a bit.”
- “I need to bring my heart rate down or slow down. I’ll never make all 3 middle miles at this pace.”
- “I feel okay now! My second tempo mile was a bit faster than my first tempo mile. One more left.”
- “Only .5 left. Keep moving.”
- “Why won’t it move faster? Did I stop my watch?”
- “.2 left. Ugh!”
- “Tempo done! Thank goodness that is over.”
- “Hope I have enough in the tank to run the cool down mile.”
- “My legs hate me.”
- “I feel better now. Just slow going”
- “DONE, 5 miles”
Anyone else do the same thing?!
Now, there are always a few choice words thrown in there! I literally have a whole conversation with myself the entire time I’m running a difficult workout. I have to stay with it and stay present or I will quickly fall right out of it.
In addition to my self-talk, I’ve given myself some outs with training. These have helped me a lot!
If I’m not feeling the workout that day or the intended paces, I will just run the miles. I am not going to get worked up about trying to keep up with fall paces in the summer. I will put in my best effort to run those miles, but they will be what they be.
Change the workout as I’m running it. If I’m running a tempo run and suddenly feel awesome, I’m going for a progression. If I’m running a tempo and feel awful, that run becomes mile repeats. I can keep tempo pace for a mile, but maybe not 3 consecutively.
Take breaks. With the summer heat, I’m having to stop more often. And that is completely okay! So what if I stop for a minute or two to catch my breath, it’s helped me complete all my workouts to the best of my ability.
Don’t do something today that will take you out tomorrow. I’m not going to run a workout I’m not feeling because I’m supposed to. Rest days for me are mile only days so I use them to my advantage the best I can. Some days, I can run more miles than needed; other days I’m struggling. Listening to my body is key!
As the temperatures become a bit cooler, I’m sure my self-talk and my Outs will change but for now, I’m sticking with it!
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