It’s official. Today for the first time I departed from my training schedule. I was supposed to do mile repeats, which are when you run for a mile at a faster pace with walking breaks in between. My 10 mile repeats three weeks ago went very well.
However, doing the 26 miler last weekend has changed (or helped clarify) my perspective on marathon training this time around. Today I decided not only that I was still tired from last weekend (surprise surprise), but that also I just didn’t feel like pushing myself quite as much. So I ended up running a still-respectable 14.5 mile long run with my buddy Erik. Rather than pushing the mile repeats, we took a slow and steady pace, chatted the whole time, and had a great run.
What has changed for me since last weekend’s marathon-distance training run:
- I am clearer now that my goal is to have a good marathon experience even if that means I slow down for the actual marathon.
- I feel that I have already achieved some important goals during this marathon training program.
- A slower marathon experience will mean a quicker recovery, which in this case will be good for me.
Let’s look at each item one at a time:
- I am clearer now that my goal is to have a good marathon experience even if that means I slow down for the actual marathon. I want to enjoy myself during the run. Having enjoyed my marathon run last week, I have more confidence now in my ability to run the distance. I also know that taking a leisurely approach doesn’t detract from the triumph!!
- I feel that I have already achieved some important goals during this marathon training program. As I have written before, training this time around hasn’t been so much about speed as about endurance. Last weekend’s run was a massive endurance win. I realized how content I am with that. This convinces me that I can relax a little bit more.
- A slower marathon experience will mean a quicker recovery, which in this case will be good for me. After some challenges after last year’s CIM, I am hopeful that a mellower run will help even out my experience in the weeks following the race.
To be clear, I am staying open in case I decide I still want to “go for the glory” of a fast time on December 4th. However, I am so pleased that I was flexible enough today to take the run I wanted to take, instead of the run that happened to be on the schedule 🙂