Today mental preparation was needed before my run. After all, I was going out to surpass my comfort zone of years past weekly runs. I had made it past the every other day runs of 3-3.5 miles and was planned to run 4.5 miles today, Wednesday and Friday this week. With the way training has progressed so far, I was prepared to complete the 4.5 and had the route mapped out already. Slipped on my running attire, shoes and new dual layer running socks from that trip to the running store and out the door I went.
Yesterday, I had remembered a training tool that I used to use and wondered if it was still out there. I used to listed to Steve Runner's Podcasts on iTunes and sure enough he is still created them. I eagerly downloaded the last five or so episodes of the podcasts and looked forward to listening to them on my next set of runs. I remembered that they are usually around an hour in length and were made of of Steve telling stories about training, his running of races and marathons, everyday life and basically a mixture of things including some music intertwined. The majority of the podcasts are completed while he is actually running. You can hear his pace and his breathing as well as his voice change during the parts where he is running.
The episode that I listened to today was randomly picked and what was it? It was on him preparing himself for the Boston Marathon in only 5 weeks. He talked about the standard safety training plans of a gradual increase in mileage of around 10% per week, but something was drawing him to run this marathon that was only 5 weeks away. He was quick to point out that he had been running through the Winter doing maintenance runs of approximately 20 miles per week. So he cautioned that even though this 5 week training was an accelerated program, he did have a base to work off of. This would not be recommended for someone who just decided 5 weeks out to run a marathon with no prior running experience or base to fall back on. Even the trainer, who he invited to talk on the podcast warned to "do not try this at home" and that because Steve Runner had run 19 other marathons and this would be his 20th, plus he had a solid base of mileage that they would be basically ramping up his mileage over the next three weeks and today was a 16 mile run for him while he was creating this podcast.
I find his podcasts motivating since not only does he run while talking and thinking intellectually, he is very entertaining and he holds your interest. He keeps your brain on its own journey as the miles go by. On todays run, I found that I was able to be completely absorbed into the podcast between miles 3-4 and really felt my stride smooth out. I was almost on cruise control and letting my body control its own pace while my brain was involved deeply in this training program that steve was working on. This could once again be my answer to completing my training. I felt really good during my run today. Yes I still took a couple short walk breaks, but I can see how I can shorten my walk breaks and slowly turn my whole run into a run and not a run/walk.
If you have an ipod or use iTunes, I highly suggest downloading the podcasts by Steve Runner and giving them a shot. Not only can you learn while you run, but be entertained at the same time. Great to listen to and a change from the constant beats of music. I recommend the podcasts and will be listening to them for my next several runs. Thank you Steve for your inspiration, your thoughts, training tips and the ability to grasp my mind and just let me run! Good luck at Boston by the way!!!