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The Marathon Rookie Times, Issue #0032
March 31, 2007
Having a positive attitude and staying motivated are critical to our success at anything in life. Always be aware of negative thoughts creeping into your mind. When you catch them, stop them cold in their tracks by telling yourself the opposite positive thought.
For instance, if you catch yourself thinking you are tired during a run, tell yourself several times, with emphasis, that you feel great or feel strong. When you do this, you will feel better almost instantly as your mind will focus on something positive, rather than that old nasty negative thought. Do the same for any pain during a run.
Again, by telling yourself the opposite, you are diverting your focus from the negative to the positive. When you are thinking positively, you are maintaining a positive attitude and staying motivated. In other words, your success is inevitable.
Surround yourself with positive, motivating things. Watching running movies is great for staying motivated. Find something that connects with you emotionally and you will find that your intensity and desire will grow to where you donít just want to achieve your goal, you have to achieve your goal.
Believe. Believe. Believe..."
If you do not maintain adequate hydration, then you will find yourself stuck in the bathroom all day with diarrhea, in the hospital, or dead. Any questions? You will sweat during training. Even if it is cold outside and you do not feel like you sweat as much as if it were 90 degrees, you still need lots of fluid. You need to replace what you lose.
Weigh yourself before each run and get your body weight back to that same point after a run to ensure adequate hydration. Do not neglect this! Even do it during pre-training runs so that you make this a habit. While running, it is recommended you consume 6-8 oz. of water every 20 minutes.
Water or sports drinks are the preferred drinks for hydration. Always drink during the two hours leading up to a run and the two hours following the run. These are your most critical times for hydration. Drink water throughout the day. Sport drinks provide some advantages during the two-hour before and two-hour after windows. They provide your body with carbohydrates and electrolytes your body needs. Use both and see how you feel. If you plan to drink sports drinks on marathon day, then make sure you are drinking sports drinks on your long runs. You should not consume or drink anything on marathon day that you have not consumed during your training runs.
Do your best to keep your urine a light yellow to clear color. If your urine is dark, then you are not getting enough fluids and should increase your water consumption so that it becomes light yellow to clear. You MUST stay adequately hydrated. PLEASE, do not overlook hydration.
Training programs are designed to fit the goals of runners at all levels, from beginner to elite. Runners should select a program based on their personal running goals and their current level of fitness. An active, experienced runner who has race experience may want to consider marathon training programs that include speed training (fartleks, intervals, etc.). These types of programs are geared more towards runners who already have an established distance pace and look to improve their pace with a goal of finishing under a certain time.
However, first time marathoners commonly have little running experience to draw from, especially at long distances over 14 miles. For many, the goal is simply to finish. After finishing a first marathon, one then has an established marathon pace and finish time. They can then set a realistic goal for the next marathon and consider marathon training programs targeting a specific finish time goal.
Take a look at many programs and choose the one you feel best fits your personal goals. Be aware of any suggested prerequisites to a program. Some may start you from Day One as if you have never run before. Others may suggest a training base of a few months or running 30 or more miles per week for a certain period of time before beginning the program.
Keep a record, or journal, of your training runs so you can see your overall improvements as you progress through training.
Once you get started, stay committed and stay motivated!
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