I just got my new calendar for 2024, actually it’s a lovely Countryfile one my Grandad has given to me. And as I started to fill it in it got me thinking how a runners calendar is often not dictated by months or seasons but actually by races and events.
I personally find that my calendar is punctuated by blocks of training, races, time off, and entries opening for other things. It goes round every year in the same way (apart from in COVID obvs). It is now autumn, mid October to be precise, and that means that runners have recently found out if they have a place in the London Marathon (or another spring marathon or ultra event) next year and are looking at a block of training ahead of them.
It’s about now that those seasoned marathon runners start to plan their next year of running, finalising race entries and getting them all in the calendar. Whilst those new to marathon/ultra running, might feel a slight unease at the task that lie ahead. Unsure if they have it in them to get through the endless training runs, hill reps, intervals, tempo runs and finally the day itself.
For those people feeling that stomach churning feeling, here are some considerations to think about, write down, discuss with friends and family to hopefully put you at ease…
What motivated you to enter?
Maybe it was the lure of the challenge, running in memory of someone, something to tick off the list? Whatever it was it was a big enough reason to get you to say yes to signing up. Keep referring back to that reason when you have doubts about why you are doing this.
Embrace the grind
Yes this will be hard, that’s why not many other people are doing it! The early mornings, late nights, aching muscles, constant need to eat… marathon training is a full time commitment in more ways than one. Create small daily habits, embrace the tough days and remember that it won’t be forever.
It’s not going to be pretty
The journey to reach a goal is never linear. Things may go wrong, you may get injured or unwell and running may have to take a backseat. Nobody’s training goes perfectly, but what is important is accepting the difficult times and figuring out how to navigate them. That’s where a coach can help 😉.
Someone else is watching
REMEMBER, whether its your kids, your family, running club friends, colleagues or just someone you run past on the trail, other people are ALWAYS watching you and being massivley inspired by you. Keep going and see the ripple effect you create by pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone.