Part of my training for completing two marathons just a week apart is to learn how to run on tired legs. Typically this involves doing my weekly long run and then the following day, within 24 hours were possible, a tempo run at marathon pace. The total distance for the two covers the full 26.2 miles. After almost three months I am not sure I am used to it yet. Running on yesterdays legs really hurts.
In all three of my previous marathons I have hit the wall. Your running along quite happily, at your planned pace and then suddenly the tanks are empty. It is as if the legs have just decided, “no more running for us, it’s time to stop”. There can be many causes. During my first marathon in London in 2008 I simply set of way too fast, at mile nine I crashed into the wall but by mile seventeen I was back. There are elements of nutrition, anaerobic fitness and endurance. The biggest battle is in the mind. Learning to push through, to keep going even though everything in you is screaming at you to stop. This is the challenge for me especially now I am facing the marathon double.
This is why running on yesterdays legs has become such an important part of my training. I want to learn how to keep on going so that when I put it all together on race day I can run at a consistent pace. Going out again and again on legs that are tired, stiff and really don’t want to move seems to be the best training for being able to keep on going on the day.
Pushing through that pain is a normal part of the training but one that only happens a few times a week. In fact although I now run everyday, a minimum of one mile, I only train three times a week. On all the other days I rest. This is probably as important if not more important than the training. Our bodies need time to recover, to repair and to grow. This can’t happen if we just hammer them all the time.
I am hoping that the benefit of this training and the pain of running on yesterdays legs will pay off with a consistent and improved time for this years marathon double.
++++++++Support me if you can+++++++++
You can support me in the following ways:
1. Like this post (or comment) and any others that I put up over the next month – this will encourage me loads (yes this is an occasion to be that shallow)
2. Donate to one of the causes below (you are a hero!)
3. Donate to both of the causes below (you are a super hero and you have my permission to make a special costume and wear it in public just because you can!)
Marathon one: Brighton 17th of April for The Living Room, the community cafe that is run in my church. We have 80-100 people in each day we open, give away the coffee and bacon baps and make no charge… Brighton Marathon
Marathon two: London 24th April for Exeter Cathedral. It has been open for over 900 years and with your help it will be there in another 900… London Marathon
Thanks Loads, Mark