Everyone likes to run fast. It’s all kids do – they blast around at full speed, running until they drop. Go watch a kids cross-country race – almost all of the competitors will invariably go out too fast (just like us big kids in the marathon often do).
On race day, going out too fast makes for an unpleasant second half to the race. In training, going out too fast is often the ticket to injury.
When planning out your training schedule, remember to also plan out a reasonable pace for each run. Kicking up the pace to much on your tempo runs is a surefire way to bring on shin splints or IT band trouble. That’s especially true early on in the program as you ramp up your mileage.
Don’t forget to slow down on your long Sunday runs too. The “S” in LSD stands for slow and it applies to you too, speedy.
We all want to be fast. But like running far, you can’t get there in a day. You wouldn’t do at 32km run two weeks into your training program. So why would you think that you could run your expected marathon race pace three weeks into your schedule?
Build speed along with strength over the course of your training program and you’ll avoid injury, and have a better result come race day.
We’re all busy people and running often just adds to the todo list. That’s especially true when there’s a race goal or other training program in place.
Making time to run is key in ensuring that you reach your goals. That’s true whether it’s simple fitness you are after, or if you have a big race goal like running a marathon.
It’s easy to say, I know. But everything in life has a priority that provides guidance on the order in which you do things, and helps you decide what to let drop off the todo list for now.
The best way to get your runs in is to put them where they belong on the priority list. Sometimes that will mean that running takes priority over sleep, or over doing the laundry, or cleaning the house. And that’s more than okay. Sometimes running will win over spending time with the kids, or your job. You know what? Depending on circumstances that’s also okay.
Conversely, sometimes other things will trump your run. Newsflash – that’s okay too. If you miss one long Sunday run in your 18 week training program and can only do 12km on Monday evening instead, it won’t kill you or cause you to DNF. If work requires you to stay late on a Tuesday making it impossible to do that tempo run, it’s not the end of the world.
You run what you can, based on where, when and how you can fit it in with all the rest of the things that you have going on.
If getting to Boston is all that matters to you, then running is your number one priority and make it so. Don’t let anything get in the way. The people in your life should understand this.
If staying fit and maybe putting in a personal best at a marathon in May is your goal, then running is probably down the priority list a bit. Some days it will trump everything else, and other days it will be dropped off the bottom.
Do yourself a favour and make sure you know where running sits on your priority list right now.
I’ve booked some more travel for work in the next couple of months which means more opportunities to run in far-flung places. First up is Orlando in February which will be a write-off as far as outdoor stuff goes. I was there last year at the same hotel – the Gaylord Palms – and it’s a horrid location to run…nothing around but highways. Treadmill running will be the order of the day there most likely.
But March includes a 10-day adventure including some time in Holland, and then southern Germany. I’ve got a 29k on the schedule and a free Sunday in Amsterdam looking for an activity. I’m already excited about that run. Last time I was in Europe I ran an amazing 29k along the Rhine in Köln.
Looking at schedules, I should be able to get two runs in around Rust, Germany. I’ll be there for WHD.global which is a hosting industry trade show that is held at EuropaPark, of all places. I’m hoping to do at least two, and maybe three runs in Amsterdam including the long Sunday run mentioned above.
Since I started running, mostly thanks to a bunch of work travel, I’ve been lucky enough to run in San Francisco, Austin, New York City, San Diego, Orlando, Washington D.C. and Boston plus Köln and Brühl, Germany. Non-work travel adds runs in Vancouver, Hilton Head Island, Ottawa, and around Muskoka.
One fortunate runner here!