I am almost five months into my marathon training and the mental butt kicking has begun. I remember when I trained a few years ago, that as the mileage increased the training became more mentally challenging than physically challenging.
Cursing the Wind
The one thing that is really challenging me in both areas is the WIND! Southern Alberta is known for chinooks, big blasts of warm air coming off the Rockies. I was mentally prepared for the cold and the wind during my winter training. I learned that I would take -20C over 70km/hour winds for a run any day. The wind usually dies out in late spring, but that has yet to happen so far.
We are at the end of May and I have never had a long run that wasn’t in the wind. And it doesn’t come from just one direction, it comes from a cross direction. Some days it’s from the Northwest, others from the Southwest.
My latest long run was the worst! I like to run along a country secondary road that has a slight incline the entire way. This way, the first half of my run, I’m working on strength and stamina, and the second half, I’m coming slightly downhill so it makes it a little easier on tired legs. But on my 14-miler the wind came in from the north. This meant I had the wind at my back as I went up, and ran into the wind as I went down. This means it was challenging the first and second half- BLEH!
Motivation vs. Discipline
One of the things that keeps me going is the idea of discipline. I heard an amazing podcast on the RunBuzz Running Podcast about motivation versus discipline. Motivation is a feeling, an emotion which means you have a harder time controlling it. Discipline is a mindset to complete a task no matter what.
When it comes to marathon training, you have to have discipline. You have to look at your training plan, the weather forecast, and your life plans and plan it all out accordingly.
Trust me, it’s very difficult to find motivation for a 5am wake up call. Due to my work schedule, I have to get up at 5 am on Wednesdays for my mid-distance runs of 5-10 miles. Why? Because my mom guilt was preventing me from taking 1-2 hours in the evening away from the boys after having been away at work all day.
Runner’s Mom Guilt
Let’s talk about stupid mom guilt for a second. It doesn’t matter what you say to yourself, how logical you are, it kicks in no matter what you do. I’ve actively worked hard to not have guilt over going to work or on hikes with friends, but it’s kicked in with this training.
Leaving my kids four times a week, sometimes for up to three or four hours is very difficult. Just for the next few months I’m working full time between two jobs, half of which is out of the home. So now I feel like I am completely ignoring my kids, which I’m not! But it feels like it.
I’m seeing a slow progression on my runs during my marathon training. My mile time is getting faster on my short runs, my body is able to complete longer and longer mileage. But am I ever sore! My calves are tight, my hips are tight, my lower back is tight. Yikes.
I won’t complain too much though because I am still injury free. I’ll have a little pain in my knee or ankle, but nothing too bad.
Anyway, that’s just my little rant. I was having ranting thoughts on my windy 5 am run and I wanted to share them.
1 thought on “Marathon Training is Mentally Challenging”
The wind is the most irritating thing about living here! I could totally see how that would be a hurdle!! You’re doing great, keep it up! Did