Train like you race!
As many of you know, I've run over 100 marathons and ultras, and one thing that I always hear after a race is: "This was the hardest thing I've ever done." Well, I have news.... the race should NOT be the hardest thing you've done. If you've trained properly, getting up at 4 AM, day after day, should be harder. Running a solo 22 miler at marathon pace should be harder. Cross-training and teaching your body how to take in the proper nutrients should be more difficult.
In my Seven Step training program, I show you how to make Race Day the EASIEST part of your training. As I come up on the Casper Marathon next Sunday, I look back at my training over the past several months.
Did I do several long runs (between 22 and 28 miles) in preparation of covering the distance? Check. Did I strengthen my core and focus on form? Check. When I got to the Tuning phase, did I work on the little things that I was deficient in, such as stabilizing my weight, training my body to eat the right amounts of proteins, fats and carbohydrates? Check, check, check.
Finally, when I got to the Peak phase about two weeks ago, did I find that I'm really "race-ready?" Can I hold a threshold pace for 10 miles? 15 miles? 20? The answer is yes. Check! I expect to have a good marathon next Sunday because I'm confident I've trained properly.
And this week, the Taper. Some people struggle with the taper and it's usually because they doubt if they're ready for Race Day. "Just one more long run", Just one more 20 miler." Other's will ignore the taper because they don't think it will impact their race (science shows it will). If you're truly race-ready, you'll embrace this important part of your training with confidence.
If you'd like to view some of my training schedules, feel free to download any of the Beginner Plans - 5k through Marathon Distance. Race and train with confidence, and let Race Day be an event to remember!
Finally, don't forget the Recovery phase. Ease into that next race to avoid over-training and injuries. Your body will thank you for it!
Download the Beginner plans here. All Intermediate and Advanced plans are in the book, "Running for the Average Joe."