I am three weeks into my 18 week marathon training program. I am preparing for the Malibu International Marathon November 11, 2012. My goal is to improve my marathon time; this distance has presented problems for me in the past. My half marathon PR is 1:40 (see here) and this was done on a trail and my marathon PR is a 3:53 (see here)
According to the McMillan running pace chart I should be running around a 3:30 marathon. I have done this in training but never have achieved this in a race.
I have learned so much about running marathons. First, that no two are alike and anything can happen in those 26.2 miles. So this time around I have a new nutrition and hydration plan, and have also made the big decision to try a new training plan. In the past I have always run high miles with two big workouts a week, one track and one long run. Since I have always used their pace charts to plan my races, I made the choice to use the McMillan Runnings 18 week marathon Training plan.
New, new, new, new, everything is so new. I just moved across the country (see here) and now a new marathon plan. I am feeling extra sensitive about all of the change. After all, I think many of us get so much comfort from our routines and knowing what will happen next. I am reviewing my miles and I find myself fighting feelings of fear and doubting this method. This plan has me doing much slower paces than I am used to for certain workouts, mixed with two VERY challenging workouts where the paces are very difficult to hit. To top it off, my overall mileage is much less than I am used to seeing. This combination has me a little freaked out.
So, as I struggled to slow myself to a true recovery pace this morning I thought “I need to trust – trust myself, my training, my body, my ability as a runner, and this new plan. If this program has any chance of working I must be willing to surrender to it and give it a chance. McMillan is an experienced coach who has guided many runners over the years, who am I to question this? I also reminded myself it is completely natural to doubt. Circumstances arise in your life and in your training that cause you to question. I came home and came up with five things to say to myself when the apprehension creeps in.
1. When you look down you fall down – When I was in my 20’s I was racing mountain bikes in Colorado, and after I went head over butt down a huge gully my riding partner yelled to me, “When you look down, you fall down!”. I never forgot that because this same rule applies to life. When you look down or are negative about something, then it most likely won’t work.
2. I am meant to be here – We are all exactly where we are meant to be at this moment in our lives. The challenges that we have are lessons presented to us because we need to learn something about ourselves. This training plan may not work or I may knock this PR out of the park. I don’t know what will happen, but I know I will learn something and I am grateful for whatever that may be. Accept the outcome, whatever it is.
3. When you doubt yourself, others will too – Recently I was watching the Olympics and an interviewer asked the men’s beach volleyball team if they should be feared. They answered “Yes, absolutely”. If they were nervous, which I am sure they had their moments, they did not show it. That has to get into the heads of their competition. If you expel credible confidence and you truly believe in yourself, others will too. Having a tribe of people behind you who support you goes along way in achieving your goals.
4. New experiences give you more insight – – Knowledge is power, plain and simple. The more experiences you have, good and bad, the greater your perspective will be. Don’t be afraid to try new things!
5. Remind yourself that what you want is right around the corner – Dreams don’t happen overnight. Anything good takes time. You have to commit yourself to your goals and accept that it won’t happen overnight, and sometimes it takes changing things up before you get it right. To keep myself going day after day I like to invision that my PR is just around the corner and that I only need to patiently keep chipping away at my training. I imagine the feeling of crossing the finish line.
So I ask you… what is something that makes you doubt?
What do you do or tell yourself to knock out doubt?