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Tapering Before Your Disney Race



Lee Hoedl
6155 16th St. South, Fargo, ND 58104
Cell: 701.306.1266
Email: leehoedl@yahoo.com


It has been stated over and over again from veteran marathoners like myself, "75% of finishing a marathon is getting to the starting line injury-free." And it's my safe bet that you know of at least one fellow runner who recently has confided with you that he/she has an injury or has recently suffered an injury... and is still training. As Stephen Covey would state in Seven Habits for Highly Effective People, it makes no sense to be more effective by pushing the saw faster when your cutting wood; there comes a time when you need to stop and "sharpen the saw." From this week on, we will be focusing on sharpening and re-sharpening our proverbial "saw": it is our training habits, our body and our focus.

Who is the best person to wreak havoc, to cause damage in personal relationships and life in general? Most likely the one who is totally unaware of him/herself, others and their impact on others. It's no different in running and training. I have worked with runners who become injured and then say to me, "I guess it's not too surprising. My knee was hurting about two weeks ago and I kept running. I didn't think it was a big deal." Or the runners who say to me, "I bonked at mile 14... I totally ran out of gas." I'll ask him/her, "What did you eat prior to your run or the night before?" And they'll respond, "I was supposed to eat something before I went out on a long run?" We need to be aware of all aspects of our training and life so that we arrive to that start line injury-free... emotionally, physically and psychologically.

It's a constant monitoring your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual state:

- Am I eating a balance diet, rich in complex carbs and protein?
- Am I getting enough sleep EACH night, not weekly?
- Am I feeling mentally alert and positive?
- Are there events in my life that are presently weighing me down?
- Am I physically sick or ill or injured in some part of my body?
- Am I remaining hydrated? Urine clear?
- Am I avoiding alcohol to some extent?
- Am I giving my body enough rest between trainings?
- Am I running for the right reason(s)?
- What am I most afraid of or concerned with regards to my training?

And the answer to these questions and so many more: What are you doing to address them head on?

The answers to all of these questions cumulatively will decide whether the outcome of your training run? For those questions that raise concerns for you, take time to address them. Not sleeping enough? Make an effort to lie down earlier in the evening. Events weighing you down? Start developing a plan to address them and use your training runs to "sort out" life issues. It will make a big difference in your runs.

As a marathoner, you have to be your biggest fan and supporter. Most of your friends and family (if they are not runners/marathoners), will not fully understand WHAT you are going through or WHY you are going through it. You can try to explain it and they may even understand your rationale partially, but a helpful role they can play is for you to simply ask them to support you because you are "you." Have them monitor your emotional. physical and mental state through this training - they will be able to point out aspects of yourself and your habits and training that you may not even notice until it's too late. No race and no bling is more important than your family, your children, your livelihood or your relationships - involve them to inspire and motivate your running, but don't run at the risk of losing important time and relationships with them.

And finally, consider this: When you've received your Disney bling (medal[s]) - and you will - and its been hanging on your wall or display two weeks after your Disney World Marathon Weekend, your life will go on. There will be bigger and greater challenges that lie ahead for you, just past the Disney World Marathon Weekend finish line(s). A finish line is just ahead of another start line. And in Life, every finish marks a new beginning. Remind yourself why you are training for this race before each of your training runs and then enjoy your run. We can do all we can to fully prepare for such a moment as this Disney race weekend and for some of us, Life circumstances will take us out of the race before it even begins. So be sure that the anticipatory training runs are just as fun as the race you may or will have at Disney World in January. Be sure that it's not you - because of you NOT monitoring your aches and pains, your needs and habits - that takes you out of the race before it even begins.

Focus on today and that starting line(s) that is just ahead in a handful of weeks. Enjoy your training runs sprinkled throughout birthdays, family holidays and wonderful moments and friends. Stay positive, stay motivated, stay aware. The finish line(s) will come soon enough.

Cool and successful runnings to all of you.