This year I’ve packed my race schedule and I have some time goals that are much more strenuous than anything I’ve had in the past. I have two half marathons coming up in the spring and two full marathons in the second half of the year. Half marathon training is in full swing and the season is well underway, so I thought I’d share some tips on training up to this point in the year:
- It’s cold, suck it up
Somehow March in New York is cold and bitter. Like -won’t go outside for lunch- cold. But you still need to get in your runs. Long runs, sprints, intervals, all of the above. Suck it up, put on another layer, and do it. Running in the cold is hard, but running a marathon is harder. Get used to running in less than perfect conditions! You have no clue what race day is going to look like. Of course we keep our fingers cross for clear skies and a cool breeze, but that is not realistic. Now is the time to practice running in the most brutal conditions so that you are ready for anything come race day.
- Learn to rest now so you don’t have to quit later
It’s cold and flu season! It sucks, but if you need to rest, do it now. It is not worth getting too sick and having to cancel big workouts or longer races because you thought you could push through when you needed a break. Listen to your body! Is that stitch in your leg more than just soreness from you latest long run? Rest now and heal so that something small doesn’t become a bigger injury. It’s much easier to take two weeks off early in the season than it is to stress about injuries leading up to race day. You have the time now, make sure you are healthy while you can.
- Get excited!
We are still a decent amount of time from the first race, and you’re putting in all of this work, get pumped about it! Plan workouts with friends. Go on runs in cool places. Take fun classes as cross training. Make plans for where you will eat after your race. Don’t forget that this is an enjoyable experience! It’s supposed to be fun.
- Make training a part of your life, not something that detracts from it
This is the point in training when the long runs are getting longer and it’s becoming more important to get in all of your miles. Make your workouts part of your weekly schedule. Make them something you prioritize and look forward to. If you dread going on a run, it’s not going to make it any easier to get across the finish line. Consistency is key and making your training a part of your life will make your goals that much more attainable.
- Get strong now
Now is the time to do the dirty work. Do your strength training. Do your squats and your pushups. Push it during your speed work and keep it up on those long runs. The muscle you are building now is what will get you through and will follow you through the year. Get sore! Now is the time to not be able to walk on Monday because of the workout you did on Sunday. You have the time to push it and recover. Now is the time to build up your strength to get you through the hardest and longest miles.
It’s time to buckle down and remember our goals. Keep your eyes on race day and enjoy the road we take while getting there.