For most of us there are no coaches, no managers, no trainers to give us sound advice. Instead we rely on our running mates, our Runner’s World and Trail Runner, our Internet, our blogs, our spouses, our kids, our moms, our dads, our co-workers, our friends to help us think our training through.
Some are of course more proficient in and discerning with their advice than others. My kids, for example, often tell me I should try to run 60 miles a day. My husband agrees with anything I want to do relating to running. One, he really has no idea; two, he is very supportive; three, he will say anything to get me to stop talking about running.
My running mates are a bit more selective in their advice. While always having everyone’s best interest at heart, I recently realized many of us are far more conservative when giving advice then when taking it.
My mate in England is one exception to this rule. We ran together for two years and he firmly believed that if he could run it, I surely could too. His best marathon is something around 3:23. Mine is 3:52. God bless him. I miss him. He just qualified for Boston, twice in 7 days.
I get a lot of good training advice from books and magazines, but I never seem to be able to follow it to a tee. I always wish I could call the author and say, “I missed this training. What do I do now to compensate? How do I correct course.” Alas, I never call. I usually make it up as I go.
I listen to my body. When it is tired, I rest. When it is strong, I push harder. When it is hungry, I eat. When it is burned out (as it is right now), I take time off.
I listen to runners who are better, faster, stronger than me. I improve when I run with people I can not beat. I follow advice from folks who have run a few more marathons, a little bit better.
Preparing for a new race, I enjoy reading stories by runners who have already done it. I learn from their experiences. I did this a lot for the Way Too Cool 50K.
And I listen to my mom. Who doesn’t?
Ultimately, I think I listen to everyone. I basically put all the advice in the blender of my mind, mix it up with my own knowledge, and then pour it out and decide what to do.
Right now I am deciding which marathon or ultramarathon to run next.
– still resting. I am burned out and have decided to take a solid two weeks off. Eating healthy again though. –