Wednesday, January 20, 2010

I am a marathoner!

The Non-Runner's Marathon Trainer is the book I got from J. It works a lot with the inner center of locus (ICOL), visualization during running, and self-talk. It really emphasizes that one should train ONLY to complete a marathon, not to complete in a certain time, run the entire 26 miles, or even have alternative goals, such as weight loss. Eliminating other goals makes you focus on the real goal of completion. This was huge for me. While I know this, somehow having it repeated many times in different ways throughout the first few chapters really hit home. I do have alternative goals for wanting to do this. I have to put this aside and just focus on completing the run. Complete the 3 miles, complete the 5 miles, complete the 18 miles. It doesn't matter how long it takes you complete it as long as you complete it.

Another big theme is the ICOL. I have to repeat frequently, "I am a marathoner". Eventually I will believe it. Positive thinking leads to positive outcomes. When I feel pain, just say, "Hello pain. I've been waiting for you. Come run with me." Any negative feelings or thoughts I say, "but it doesn't matter." On my run today I had to use this a lot. The streets were icy, "but it doesn't matter". I wanted to quit, "I am a marathoner!" My legs were achy and taking over, "Hello pain. I've been waiting for you. Come run with me." This one was a little more difficult. I found "I am a marathoner" repeated over and over worked best. Another suggestion was to write a short statement of positive things to repeat when you have a difficult run. "You are a marathoner. You have a beautiful body. You are building endurance. You are confident and tall and strong. You are a marathoner. You will succeed." These proved to be the most effective for me today.

I am excited about the concepts and stories presented in this book. It's an easy read and I just can't put it down. As the name suggests, these are non-runners who are going from pretty much nothing to running a marathon in 16 weeks. It is based on the "Marathon Class" at UNI. Literally hundreds of people have taken the class and ALL except one student has completed the marathon each time. The one who didn't, didn't take all the advise of the teachers and got an injury or became dehydrated during the marathon. It's really about changing who you are inside and making yourself more confident. That's exactly what I need.

This is such a self-directed book that I would entertain the idea of presenting it to one of the PE teachers to teach the class here. It's a 16-week program; there are 18 weeks in a semester. We could have an SH marathon at the end of the year as a final. Another aspect I like about this book is that each week (chapter) there is a section on the running schedule, physical training, mental training, and comments from previous participants. You get scientific/biological explanation for what is happening, why it is important to follow the regimen as given, as well as how to overcome the mental challenge of it all. It is truly focused on success! The comments from previous class members is extremely helpful for me too. It makes it more real. They journal about what was difficult and how they overcame the difficulty, give suggestions for being successful, etc. This is a difficult, monumental task, but the end reward is phenomenal!

I have realized that maybe I am running too much. It said that the program is based on a 4-day running schedule: 2 short days, 1 medium day, and long day (Sat). The Sat runs were usually run together and the others were done on their own. Fri and Sun were designated days of rest because of Sat being the long run. The other 3 days were suggested running days, but could be done at other times if schedule was difficult. While some programs have a 5-day/week training schedule, research does not suggest that those type of programs are more effective. To say that e.v.e.r.y. student who stuck to the "rules" of the class successfully completed the course is very encouraging and speaks volumes to the their method.

I almost forgot...I wore the shoes today!! They felt great! I am sooooo excited.
It was a 3-mi run and I walked about .25 miles at the end for a total of 45 min. I really felt like I was going so slowly, but when I got home that time seemed about right so maybe I wasn't going as slowly as I thought I was. One of the writers was a participant in the class and she acknowledged that she was a slow runner. While everyone always passed her and she was always the last on to complete a run, she was ok with that. She speaks about that a lot in the book so when I felt I was going too slow, I just thought about her. It's ok to go slow; it's more important to finish the run...

1 comment:

  1. I love good inspiration!! I have a movie I should lend you...Spirit of the was filmed when I did my first marathon (and I didn't even know it)!! Talk about inspiration!! I love it!! 98% of the challenge is overcoming the mental aspects associated with the challenge. I am so glad you found a book to help you along the way!! I know that 4 days of running a week work great!! I have been on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday schedule for over 5 years and never been injured (knock on wood). I would highly recommend addding some kind of strength training in a couple of days a week as well (especially core strength...if you want some good exercises I can give you some). I found this VERY advantageous when I did my last couple of marathons. I was able to remain upright at the end (not losing form) and felt strong!!

    Keep up the PHENOMENAL work and keep pushing foward!! Mind over matter!!