To say that I am a little undertrained for this marathon would be sort of like saying that the troops at the Alamo were a “little bit” overmatched. Although, similar to the Alamo, there will be yelling, pain, and maybe a little bit of poop in paints. But alas, there will be no folksy songs or battle cries for me…. This shit is going to hurt.
Coming to terms with being under trained for yet another marathon (Boston, New York being the last two) is an interesting process. Of course, there are lots of
Of course, the introspective person in me (he normally comes out after 3 glasses of wine, quickly replaced by the “amazing joke teller / singer” in me after 4 glasses) wonders how many sub-par races I can have in a row before sub par is actually par? If orange is the new black, maybe 3:20 is the new 3:00?
Never the less, here are a few tips if you find yourself in a similar situation of being tragically undertrained but are still
Set a good Pace: Yes, I know this one is a no brainer. Yes, I know that it is often the hardest. Yes, I know that you will probably ignore this tip anyway. You see, the issue with being under trained is that you ARE a LITTLE trained. So, you can run half the distance at your old goal pace no problem at all. Hell, it might even feel good!! But, the weight of the miles and speed will catch up with you like taco bell during an all day conference call. (In both cases, shit is going to hit the fan.) My advice is to start out at long run pace and assess every quarter of the race distance - or, start at the next race pace up. E.g., running a 10k? start at half marathon pace. For the marathon, I’ll do a little self check every time I eat a gel or every 6 miles…. still feeling good? Maybe think about picking it up. Either way, if you run your old goal pace before half way, you’re asking for the walk of shame.
Honesty: Sure it is, Mr Clinton... Sure it is.
Be honest with yourself: If lately your idea of marathon training is watching the entire 2nd season of House of Cards, then you had best adjust your goals. Telling yourself that you're not in PR shape is one of the most important steps to following all of the others. What is done (or probably not done) is in the past.
Have a plan: Just because you’re not running all out, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have a plan. You don’t have to have mile by mile splits, but running by feel will be hard with inconsistent training. With consistency and regularity comes familiarity – and you’re not really familiar with what “hard” should feel like and you certainly don't know what your specific goal pace feels like. Here is when a bit of race simulation during a mid week run helps. If you are struggling at your goal pace after 30 min, it shouldn't be your goal pace.
|I am getting so much mileage out of this pic...|
Have fun: Kidding aside, races where you are unprepared really are the best times to have some fun. You can ham it up with all of the people who are serious, wear a stupid hat, or maybe even find a random stranger and help them to a PR.
So, whether I follow those tips or not, I keep reminding myself that there WILL be other races…. But I had better get my butt in gear and log some miles! There are only so many of these “woe is me, I’m under trained” blog posts I can write!
Any other tips for anyone that finds this post via the google machine?? I mean, you could just train, but then you wouldn't get to have amazing race pictures like this!!!