Ryan Hall – 2 time Olympian, American record holder for the marathon.
I picked up his book in 2011 “Running with Joy” which he wrote while training for the Boston marathon – I liked it and re-read it during my training for Boston 2012.
- Even the pro’s (with all of their supports) struggle with injuries like Plantar Faciitis – he ran through it during the trials to qualify for the Olympics, but the compensations caused a hamstring and quad/knee issue. During the Olympic marathon, he had to drop out due to the hamstring problem. He ended up taking 6 weeks off to deal with the issues. So, you will pay the “piper” at some point – the earlier option is to solve the pain issue before it compounds with additional problems.
- His mother-in-law trained for a marathon at age 55 without consulting her pro-running daughter and son-in-law (she probably thought her kids would call her nuts – although all runners are a bit nuts). Her longest run was 13 miles (following my researched recommendation of limiting long runs to under 3 hours). She had an enjoyable experience without being beat-up in training.
- Regardless of how training went, or the results of lead-up races, it is a clean slate at the starting line of a race. Wipe those thoughts out of your mind and think about the good days in training. He has experienced winning and PR performances after weeks of poor training or miserable lead-up races. You still need to run a smart race and listen to your body’s feedback.
Ben and Steph Bruce (America’s power running couple):
- When asked about getting through those tough spots in a race – you need to ask yourself who you want to be in that moment: a competitor or a quitter. The suffering is temporary, but the regret of not putting in a full effort will last forever. Don’t just decide to be tough on race day; you need to practice it in training – that last repeat or the end of a tempo run or feeling sluggish on that long run. In preparing for the race, visualize that tough spot at 20 miles and ask yourself those questions now so that you have the scripted, automatic answer at that low spot. Find a mantra that works for you that is internal: “I can do this. I will do this” or external like: “Honor the people that have been supporting me”. Consider dedicating each mile to someone important in your life and you can’t let them down. Write it on your pace band and stay focused. Remember: “pain is temporary, but Internet results last forever”.