Monday, March 19, 2007

Getting Serious

A co-worker and training partner is running his first marathon in May. With just under nine weeks to go, we were discussing his training and current condition. The fact that his first child was born just about two weeks ago has sort of wreaked havoc on his marathon training plan.

So, he wants to know what can be done to avoid having to scrap the race. I told him we'd run 12-14 miles, this weekend, and make a determination then. To date, the furthest he has ever run is a half-marathon. And that was last season. Going from 13 miles to 26.2 miles in less than eight weeks poses a real challenge.

Mostly, I told him he needs to get serious. That is an important factor in completing a marathon. I sincerely believe that a half-marathon can be completed without any real knowledge or serious training. Why do I believe that? Because that's how I ran my first half-marathon. And I've met lots of others who did the same thing.

There is a huge difference between 13.1 miles and 26.2 miles. And it takes a serious respect of the distance and dedication to completing the race to motivate proper training. Cutting corners and "faking it" doesn't work so well at the full marathon distance.

And that got me thinking about my own training for Louisville. I started looking at the training hours. I noticed that for nearly every week there was a noticeable difference between scheduled and actual hours. Granted, "scheduled" included optional swim and/or run sets each week, but still, falling short every week is hardly a sign of respect and dedication.

Just like the difference between a half and full marathon, it is highly unlikely that I will be able to "fake" the training the way I did for my sprint and Olympic distance races. Reaching the finish line in August will require that I get serious. Those training hours should be met closely every week. Perhaps a little short here, a little long there, equal on average.

I have trained far more, this year, than ever before. Even so, it is time to ratchet things up to the next level. I have an 8-week program until the 16-week Ironman program commences. My goal for this phase is to get back into full training mode and hit those goal times. Feel free to call me on it. Accountability is everything.


Tri-Dummy said...

We must be flexible, brother...being husbands, fathers, workers, etc.

I only ensure I get my LONG days in. The others are icing on the cake, per se.

IM Able said...

I'm with you. I'm noticing that one session gets dropped each week. There's always a good reason, but I'm sure that I can get back to hitting 100% each time with just a little more effort. Actually, not effort, just commitment. There's no fakin' in Ironman!

Curly Su said...

'respect the distace'...well said.

Deb said...

Get it done! (and have fun!)

Rural Girl said...

I think half the battle is the realization and acceptance of the process. You're on your way! Happy training.

Lana said...

Great post - I've always said that a half marathon is not even the same kind of event as a full marathon. Not even close. I hope your friend is able to pick up his training and finish!