I’ve participated in many events over the years; triathlons, cycling tours, running relays, half marathons, 10Ks, 5Ks, and various other athletic adventures. I’ve always been sporty and worked out mostly for fitness and have never really “trained” with a training plan for any event. The last time I officially trained for something was in college when I played D1 soccer. On all occasions, I’ve signed up for these events and then just showed up and hoped for the best.
I’m not going to lie, I’m always disappointed in my performance. However, I always have a good excuse of why I wasn’t faster or fitter…I hadn’t actually trained for the event so what more could I expect? No training also gave me an excuse to tell the world why I wasn’t as good as my brain thought I was.
I’ve recently signed up for the NYC Marathon. I’ve got the regular “I’m not sure I can do this” nervousness and doubt. I also realize that I will not be able to fake my way through 26.2 miles and I also want to finish prior to being kicked off the course!
This means I have to start training. Like real training with an actual training plan. Crap.
As nervous as I am about finishing the marathon, I’m a bit more nervous about the training plan and my will power to keep up with the plan and do what I need to do. I have to be honest, my couch is super comfy and has a hypnotic pull that I can’t often ignore.
What I do know, is I love working out in the mornings. I love sunrises, crisp air and knowing that I got done with my run before the day and all of the stresses start to weigh me down. I decide to seek out a training plan and start right away — making sure I get my training runs done before work.
The training plan I settled on is “The Hanson’s Marathon Method“. I read the whole book in about 2 days and have uploaded all of the training days into my google calendar. What has stuck with me from this book and training plan is when they talk about missing training days for whatever reason. They say over and over again “anything is better than nothing”.
Anything is better than nothing.
This is the little lie that has gotten me out of bed for the last three weeks (!!) to complete my training runs. I say to myself as I pass by the coffee machine and couch “anything is better than nothing, I’ll just run 2-3 miles today instead of what’s in the plan”. Fully knowing that when I do get out the door and start running, I ALWAYS do the distance on the plan.
Some mornings the run hasn’t gone as planned and I’m slower or feel like I’m pulling a 10-car locomotive behind me. This is where forgiveness comes in. I have to forgive myself for poor performance — because I’m out here running and that’s better than watching the news with coffee on the couch. (well, only better because I get to watch the news with coffee on the couch after my run!)
This is why it’s called a training plan. You train so you get all the bad run days out of the way and you build up your confidence and time on your feet so when the big event comes, all you can think of is that you made it and you put in the training time so enjoy the scenery, the scene and the fruits of your labor.
I’m pretty proud of myself so far, I’ve not missed one training day in the last three weeks. I know there are 12 more weeks to go and days ahead that will be colder, darker and harder. I know now that anything is better than nothing and no matter the end result, the only person judging me and my performance is myself and I need to be a bit kinder to myself and a little more forgiving.