In the past 10 years I’ve been running, I learned the following about myself as a runner:
1. I’m not naturally speedy.
2. I have to work my ass off to get faster.
3. Endurance is my strength. In many ways, running 20 miles is easier and more pleasant than a speed workout.
4. Because of #3, I shy away from 5Ks and 10Ks.
5. I’m a morning runner; running in the evening is tough for me.
6. I run my long runs at or within 30-45 seconds of marathon pace. Long, slow distance doesn’t work for me. Practice makes perfect.
7. Although my mental game has improved, negative thoughts and self-doubt still haunt me.
It took lots of trail and error but I’ve learned so much about myself from marathon #1 to marathon #8.
Don’t compare yourself to other runners
This is pointless and will get you nowhere. Every runner has different abilities. The speedsters who make it seem so easy are genetically gifted. Trying to copy their training schedule to “be like them” will also get you nowhere. It’s important to know your strengths, weaknesses, and limitations as a runner so you can train smart for you.
Easier said then done, right? I still compare myself to other runners. Case and point: after the NJ Marathon I was bummed about my PR (yes, I was bummed about a PR) and kept reading Twitter updates of everyone’s fabulous PRs. I said to Matt, “I’m sick of reading about everyone’s PRs”. His reply, “Oh…and how about your PR?” Enough said. Thanks Matt.
Training plans are NOT one-size-fits-all
As I said above, don’t take your super fast runner friend’s training schedule and follow it to a T and expect the same results. Training plans need to be modified to fit your needs and they need to be modified while training so they continue to meet your needs.
What lessons have you learned about yourself as a runner?