The Experience of a Long Distance Runner – Ground Rules / Mantra

14th October 2015
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My ground rules/mantra

– ENJOY (personal motivation does the rest and is all you need) – enjoy every moment of running and training, dream big, believe in yourself and you will definitely achieve the best you can from your body and mind. 

– RESPECT the process of training and with patience you will see progress. 

– RECOVERY is as if not more important than the actual training sessions. I have come to understand and appreciate first hand the importance of respecting recovery. As soon as the session ends its all about how well and fast my body recovers in time for the next session. Everything I do is focused on that… from the post workout stretch, fuelling, sleeping etc. Rest days feel like a long holiday and make sure to include some along the way and take proper longer breaks intermittently in your training life. 

– CONSISTENCY in training is key as with all other aspects of life. 

– LISTEN to your body during your training sessions and at all times of the day. If you listen properly you will know when there are times you may need to slow down or stop and pick up again the next day. This is very important and can save you from fatigue and/or injury. 

– MILEAGE is the key to long distance running… a lot of it… as much as your body and life allows you to put in put in if you want to go places…. This is what makes running special and different – it will give you in terms of output (performance on race day) just as much as you put in…. one cannot say the same about other sports. 

– CORE strength and flexibility training is fundamental for proper running form mostly so as not to collapse when getting tired. Do minimum 2 to 3 sessions a week. 

– BALANCE your food intake. By admission I am no food expert and I do not count calories etc. But I try to balance out food intake in terms of type of food (protein, carbs, fats etc) and quantity as much as possible. Some people that train believe that since they train they can eat anything. That may be true for some and work for some but it all depends on personal goals. Usually if one wants to lose significant weight or getter fitter/stronger/faster, eating/drinking anything that appears in front of you just because you run/train will not help you achieve your goals. 

– RACE DAY MINDSET – when one approaches the start line of any race relax your mind so your body/muscles are relaxed, will perform better and deliver the goods. Tie any butterflies in your gut to your ankles and……. fly to the finish line. 

– NO EXCUSES – If I ever think about an excuse before a start line I would rather not toe it. 

– NO FINISH LINE – there really is no finish line and with patience one can always reach higher. 

 

Some final thoughts for now

I spend most of my non-running time, at work, at home or socializing with family and friends thinking about and counting down the time to my next run. I wish you the same feeling in your preparations for any running event you may have in mind. 

Have patience, allow running the time to do its trick and to grow into your life and routine, train consistently, trust the training process and evolution and always believe in yourself. I have no doubt that in so doing you will become better, stronger, faster runners and as a result all other aspects of your life will also take positive turns if required. 

This coming weekend I am off to participate in the Berlin Marathon, my 3rd major marathon – circa 41,000 participants are expected so that in itself already ensures an incredible experience. 

It’s been a long 20+ weeks of intense training in the Maltese summer heat and humidity and now I just can’t wait to get to that start line…… I too can’t wait to get to the finish line but also look forward to subsequent start lines as at the end of the day there is no finish line and each target completion is really in my opinion just the beginning of a long process of self discovery through running! 

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