By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. – Benjamin Franklin
This quote is certainly relevant when it comes to running. A key to success in a long run or big workout is mental and physical preparation. You should approach each workout and long run for what is is; an important step toward your ultimate goal. Would you eat a chili cheese dog the day of a race or stay up to 2am drinking and expect success? I don’t think so. So why would your 20 mile long run be any less important. Or your marathon pace tempo run?
Each element of training is designed to help you toward your goal and to be come a stronger more confident runner. You have to approach each day with success in mind. That means remembering the importance and preparing. These should be guidelines for your entire training cycle.
Steps to physical preparation:
1) Sleeping – make sure to get a good nights sleep. Get into a regular sleeping pattern. Everyone is different but if you need 8 hours try to get into a regular pattern of going to bed at 10pm and waking at 6am.
2) Eating – Get to know your body. Fuel for success. The body is a machine. It runs better on vegetables and fruits than Twinkies and deep fried food. Find what works best for you. What do you need before a morning run? What should you eat at lunch for a evening workout? What sits best for long runs and race days? Are there things that you can avoid that cause GI issues?
3) Supplemental – Do the little things. They take time. But if you just do 10 minutes a day it can save you a lot of discomfort. Get a stretch, roll out, ice if you need to. Take care of your body!
Steps to mental preparation:
1) . Get yourself ready!! If you have a hard Tuesday workout talk yourself into it. Walk through the steps of preparation. Tell yourself why you are doing the things you do on Monday because of the workout on Tuesday. What are you trying to accomplish? Why is the workout important?
2) Hold yourself accountable. You are the one who is out doing the work. If you fail to prepare be honest and assess yourself. There may be outside factors such as the weather that influence a bad workout. But focus on what you can control. What can you do better?
3) Give yourself a break. One bad day isn’t indicative of your training. Don’t throw in the towel. Sometimes bad days happen. You have to get back out there. Those bad days lucky make the victory sweeter. Go through your check list.
4) Enjoy the process!! Have fun. This is huge. That is why you got into it. Not many people start running because they think they can be in the Olympics!! Never forget the many reasons why you run.
5) Believe in yourself! This is huge. As runners we are our own harshest critics. The natural thing to say is, “I suck”. “I can’t do this”. But you can’t get in your own head.
“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you are right.” -Henry Ford
So get out there and run!!