جمعة, 03/09/2012

About The Benefits To Train For A Half Marathon - part 3

I traveled to a conference this week. That meant that I had to plan my training for the half-marathon quite carefully. I try not to leave more than a week between two training units. A couple of days away and unfriendly weather before or after that can affect every training plan quite severly.

Since I prefer longer runs it is okay not to run every other day. How you plan your training is entirely up to you, how you put your preferences and how you can balance it with your work and family life. Important is only that you train a certain amount which normally is measured in kilometers run each week. I read 60 kilometers and more once, but that is true for the full marathon. I run around 30 a week, sometimes even less and it feels completely enough. Running is supposed to show an effect in fitness and prowess, the way how it is reached basiclly everybody has to developed and decide by oneself. Unfortunatley sometimes one has to overcome ones own unwillingness.

Sometimes it is okay just to leave it and run another time. There is no use to force it. Tomorrow, indeed, is another day. But what if you already know that you cannot run the next day or the day after that? Or you already know the weather will cold and wet or even worse as at the moment? How do you motivate yourself?!

Of course, you can remind yourself that you wanted to run in a competition or reach a certain limit by a certain time and how would you look like to yourself if you do not even try to reach this goal you gave yourself voluntarily? To enforce this I tell as many people as I can that I will run in the half marathon.

Most are really impressed, which actually makes me proud. Do I want to stand there in the afternoon of April 1 admitting that I did not try hard enough? Of course not! So this is argument one. Sometimes, I confess, it is not strong enough, although it is a very strong argument! Secondly I reason with me: if you do not run today, it will take a while until you can run again and after that you will have sore muscles again and this you do not like either! See! So it goes. Sometimes it takes me an hour until I get going, but I go! After a while everything seems normal and I ask myself were was the problem earlier on?
Actually a bigger problem for me as to get out running is not to get bored while running. It always scares me when I get aware how long the circuit still is. To avoid thinking about it I try to think about something else - remember that I wrote about how contemplative running is? And I avoid to think about he whole way in front of me. Only think about the way you can actually see. And I like to vary the way I run. But there is one variation I very seldomly use. If I run that leg I will run along the banks of the river Spree and from a certain point on I can see the old ferris wheel at the old Spreepark amusement park rising over the trees which is not in use anymore. Unfortunatley I know how far away it is until I finally reach the border of the amusement park. And because I get frustrated because it is still so far I avoid to run this leg in that direction. The other direction with the ferris wheel in the back is actually really nice to run.

And how do I motivate myself to run even a bit longer? This you can do by splitting the last legs of your training in little bits. I have the good fortune to have the possibility to get back to where I started from on ways of different lengths. If I am in the mood I tell myself, that I can do it, that, if I can run this leg, I can run a longer leg instead of a shorter one as well and because my smartphone app that tracks my training tells me every kilometer I reach I know how far I had run and sometimes that motivates me to add another kilometer or make sure that the actual kilometer will be finished. You see, running is not only a question of fitness or strenghts (which you actually build by running), it firstly is in the head and probaly there even more. So, if you want to do it, you can! Yes, indeed!