Thursday, November 25, 2010

Perspiration and Inspiration

Of the 2600 kilometres I've run so far this year, only 150 kilometres was run in races. That is a pretty small percentage. And considering how much I cheat on long runs (20 km once a week has been my standard, and I've only increased that to 25 km within the past month), most marathon runners likely log far more training distance than I do.

To me, that means you've got to enjoy the training part of your running life. Of course I enjoy the races, I totally revel in them. I simply don't find myself obsessing about upcoming races in terms of how prepared I am, or how fast I'll run. I run four marathons a year now, so there's always another one around the corner. I'm just as concerned about how well I'm going to run tomorrow as I am about the next race. The atmosphere, the geography, the people, all of these things are exciting but the actual run is simply going to be what it's going to be, fast, slow, or somewhere in between. You give it your best, and you try to make your best incrementally better every day. The moments of inspiration, the PRs in run-speak, come with persistent training. Countless times you see runners having eureka moments when they nail a good run, and it would not happen if they didn't slog it out day in and day out.

And that's how most endeavours are to me. You give it what you can every day, so when the events come up you're prepared and rehearsed to the extent that very little can stress you out anymore. That's what preparation is all about to me. You can't be too prepared, you can't know everything there is to know or have exhausted all of your strategies to improve.

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