In October, 2014, I ran a half-marathon with friends in San Jose. It was an incredible process to commit to, train for, and ultimately run 13.1 miles through a beautiful city.
During the many, many miles I logged in training, I developed some perspectives and processes that have served in unexpected arenas. The greatest of these has been the ‘marathon mindset.’
When I first began running, it was evident that I did not have long-distance endurance. My first goal was to overcome my desire to go as fast as absolutely possible in order to have the stamina to run more than a short distance.
When you’re running long distances, sprinting is not necessarily your friend.
If you Google marathon training, you’ll discover there are a LOT of opinions on how best to train. Daily runs. Thrice-weekly. Intervals. Fartleks. Sprints. Hill runs. The list goes on and on… Once I had decided to run the half-marathon, I had to settle on a training plan that worked for me physically, and would fit in my schedule.
Know yourself, know what works.
My training runs ranged between two and twelve miles long, and as my distances increased, I learned new coping skills for the task at hand. Shorter runs were opportunities to push speed. Longer runs required modifications of food and snack intake. Active rest included stretching and yoga. And my playlist was birthed, ballooned, and trimmed back to the music best suited to my pace.
Find the right tools, and tweak them along the way.
My current season aligns nicely with the marathon mindset; while I’m not sprinting towards close goals, I am making progress towards long-range projects. In life, as well as running, it helps to have a plan for incremental improvement over time, so that’s what we’ll talk about.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at seven arenas of life that I like to include as I set goals and targets for self-improvement. Then for 21 days, I’ll cover a small nugget of an idea to help me, and hopefully you, continue our journey towards a better self in each of those seven areas.
Lace up, friends.