Jim Damico, 126 TCCS
Depending on when you started, you could be reaching a couple of months of running and that most definitely can wear on a person mentally, especially new runners. So, with just eight weeks to go, you want to be able to stick to your training schedule so that you can successfully finish your race in January.
Now that you’re getting closer to that date you have circled on the calendar, if you haven’t done so already, you can tell everyone about your race. Let them share your excitement for running your first marathon or half marathon, and even if it’s not your first, letting others know will motivate you to stick with your training.
I know PCVs are pretty isolated and I’m almost certain no one has a running partner in their village. But if you find yourself in Bangkok or Khon Kaen or even Chiang Mai, find out if any other PCV runners are there at the same time so you can go on a run together. Even if they’re not training for the marathon, it is extremely beneficial psychologically to run with other friends. You can also check online to see if there are group runs in those cities.
As you pass milestones, give yourself some rewards, like new running socks or other running clothing/accessories, because at this point you most definitely are a RUNNER and you can look the part. And after such a long commitment, maybe consider putting a few baht aside every run so that when you’re finished with your race, you might be able to buy that new GPS watch you’ve been thinking about.
Remember, the goal is just to finish “happy” and “strong,” especially if it’s your first marathon/half marathon. After all these weeks of training, you might be looking a little too closely at your pace times. You don’t want to end up pushing yourself too hard because then you risk injury, which definitely won’t make you “happy”!
Rest days are important, so be sure to take them. If you can’t run on a day according to your schedule, don’t get down about it. Try something else, like biking or bodyweight exercise. Again, while miles on your feet is important, the goal is to create a healthy body that can tackle anything, including a marathon, so you have the flexibility to exercise in other ways.
Some other key points:
• Don’t be too hard on yourself – let some of those expectations go and focus on having fun.
• Don’t get caught up in an “all or nothing” mindset – consistency is more important than quantity.
• Don’t compare yourself to others – you’re not lazy, you just started from zero.
• Find your “secret sauce” – find what motivates you (not what others say should motivate you).
• Whatever you do, make it FUN!