The Couch to 5K. The Marathon Rookie's Guide. Becoming a Runner. There are an endless amount of resources out there that will help me train for whatever event I want to run. But I need to remember that each of these are only guides, not required manuals, and that there is one thing more important than any of them.
Action 232 - Trust My Training. While it's a good idea to listen to the advice of experts, that advice should not be confused with a checklist of you must do this or you will fail items. Yes, it's good to run longer distances as you prepare for a marathon. But not having 12, 14 and 18 mile long runs but skipping the 16 mile long run doesn't mean you have failed. It means that real life can make full-time devotion to a training plan an impossibility. And yes, healthy eating is important, but a single fast-food lunch won't mean you can't go the distance.
I share this today for a friend who is concerned that she doesn't have the time to do all of the long runs between now and the date of her first marathon. I want her to remember that the long runs are just one part of her larger, overall health and fitness training program, and that a single run doesn't mean failure. I share it for myself so I don't get too focused on any one element of training - nutrition, warmups, distance, breathing, heart rate, etc - and lose sight of my own bigger goal.
I will trust in my training and know that I am ready for my marathon.
(Image courtesy of topendsports.com)