We know that when we start really training, the mental part of the game is as important as the physical part. There is always going to be some self doubt when you start to take some risks in training and racing. When I PRd at 10k on the track, I went through 5 miles at a pretty good pace and thought to myself that I could just step off the track and have a pretty good 5 mile PR. I didn’t step off the track, but the point is that even when you’re in good shape, those doubts creep in.
Here are some tips for dealing with the mental parts of training and racing:
1-Have fun with the training and racing. We have some great groups which make the training more enjoyable. Misery loves company.
2-Pick a target/goal that you’re happy with. Don’t let me or your training mates decide what your goal is. I’m going to look at things realistically. I’ll be honest with you, but it’s your race/training.
3-The training is one thing and the racing is another. If you’re racing in training, you probably won’t race as well as you’re capable of on race day. We’ve had many people leave their best marathon on the streets of WC. Be smart and save your best effort for race day. I like how people are making adaptations to the training if they’re not feeling it that day.
4-Don’t get inside your own head if you have a bad workout or have to skip part of a workout. I was never afraid to shorten a workout if things weren’t going well. There is no one magic workout. It’s the body of work as a whole that’s going to get you to where you want to be at the end of the training.
5-Don’t define yourself by what happens on race day. In the marathon especially, a lot of things can happen to dampen your spirits on race day. Don’t let that be your defining moment. Be proud of the work you’ve put in.
6-As you start to visualize your race, go to the days in training and racing that have been good days for you. Try to mimic what you did in preparation on those days. Get confidence from your training and habits/obsessions. Look for that feeling good feeling on race morning.
Here is the week’s training schedule:
Tuesday-Long racers-5 x 2400 w/200JR at 10k pace. Short racers-2400 at 10k pace, 1600 at 5k pace, 800 at 3k pace, 400 at mile pace with a 400jr.
Friday-Long-No workout-60:00. Short racers-7 x 500 w/300 jr at 5k pace or race this weekend. If I was going to race, I’d do the Stomp Out Stigma in Caln on Sunday. It’s a flat, fast course. Burns and I will be setting it up so it will be accurate.
Saturday-Full marathoners-2:45:00 w/3 x 30:00 w/5:00 rest at MP + 5 seconds on the 1st one,MP on the 2nd one and MP -5 seconds on third one. Start the pickups at 50:00. 1/2 marathoners-2:15 w/3 x 20:00 pickups w/5:00 rest. Pickup one-1/2 pace plus 10 seconds, 2nd pickup-1/2 pace plus, 3rd pickup-1/2 pace -5 seconds. Start at 55:00.
See you on Tuesday.