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My big race is coming up my training dropped off – what now?

Posted Apr 30 2013 2:51pm

I have been training for the Flying Pig marathon in Cincinnati. This will be the second time I do this race and I’m hoping I can do better than my last time. In 2002, I clocked a 4:19 which made it my slowest marathon ever. It was not pretty. The hills got to me but so did my lack of training. The race this weekend will be my redemption.  flying-pig-joggling-marathon

So as I said, I was training pretty well, right up until I went on a trip to Europe. While I brought my running clothes and continued my running streak, my workouts were weak. Slow, short, and uninspired. I came back from vacation less trained and likely a bit heavier than when I left. Now, the marathon is this weekend and I’m worried about my conditioning. My longest run was only 18 miles and I could have used another 20 miler. But I take solace in the following things. If you have an upcoming race and your training slacked off, consider the following.

It takes more like a month before you really notice any conditioning losses. So, taking a 2-week hiatus, especially in the last weeks of training is not that important. It shouldn’t cost much time.

While I didn’t get in all the long runs I would have liked to, I did get in a number of them and that will certainly be enough to allow me to finish in a decent time. If you skipped a few runs, don’t sweat it too much. Your body will remember the ones you did.

Training really only gets you so far in running. More important is your mental toughness and confidence. I’ve run the marathon distance a number of times so I’m confident enough that I will be able to finish. If you’ve already done the distance before, it’s easy enough to do it again.

I always keep in mind that I’m running for myself and my own satisfaction. I’m not trying to impress people. That’s why I juggle ;) . Just kidding. Really, running is a personal goal and accomplishment. Most people will be impressed just by the fact that I completed the distance. Time is not that important.

If I do happen to crash and burn this race, there’s always another one for which to get redemption.

No matter what, when the race is over, I know that I will feel good and be happy that it’s done. It might take a day or two but completing a race that you set your mind to is the kind of accomplishment that sticks with you for the rest of your life.

I don’t know how I will do this weekend. It might be tough and the hills might really hurt. But there will be some cheers and smiles from the crowds, my 33rd marathon will be under my feet, and another goal will be checked off my list. That always makes me feel great.  And if you’re in a similar situation, I hope you will feel the same.

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