I’m a loyal person to others, but can be very flakey to myself.
It took me 2 failed half-marathon sign ups to commit to running one, and I almost backed out of my first full marathon several times.
For the longest time, it was hard for me to make a commitment to myself. Was it the intimidation of training? Maybe. Actually, probably. But most of all it was self doubt. I was too afraid to fail at a goal, that I just eliminated the doubt, and quit before I could start. In my imagination I couldn’t visualize myself finishing a half marathon, so since I couldn’t see it in a picture in my mind, it meant it wasn’t meant to be.
This training cycle is only 2.5 weeks in and I’ve had to fight off these thoughts:
- Do you really need to run another marathon this year? Why are you doing this again?
- Why don’t you just do a different, easier training plan?
- Wouldn’t you rather sleep in and go to spin classes instead?
- Imagine if you put all the money you spend on money towards a vacation (or, a down payment on a house..)?
I hate to say it — but some, if not all of these are valid. It’s not outlandish to think that two marathons in a marathon debut year is too much, or that I’ve easily spent $2k on anything running related (shoes, clothes — SO many clothes, registrations, hotels, brunches…) in the last year and a half.
What’s different about this time that’s keeping me committed?
I mean, let’s not get too carried away, it has only been about 18 days, and the toughest day are very much ahead. But this time, I’m excited for them. I’m totally intimidated when I look at my super scary training spread sheet*, but I’m also excited to hit these totals. It will be the most mileage I’ve ran, and the most organized and committed I’ve ever been to a plan, and there’s something eerily neurotic about having to hit those benchmarks.
SUPER SCARY SPREAD SHEET
Whether you’re training with Hanson Marathon Method, or any other, I think it’s key to use the plan as a suggested prescription. For my first marathon, I combined about 4 different plans and hoped for the best, and basically the only rule I followed was having a long run during the weekend, and more often than I’d like to admit, those were skipped or cut short. I definitely hit the long run goal, and got a lot of miles in, but also spend a ton of time freaking out over injuries and that nagging feeling of “I really, really don’t think I can do this.”
The greatest benefit for committing to a plan, whatever it may be, is that it takes off a lot of that stress, and a lot of that self-doubt. It’s the insurance and the safety that you will reach your finish line.
What are your favorite training plans? Any tips for staying committed during tough weeks or workouts?