Friday is the best day, wouldn’t you agree? For a while there, Fridays didn’t mean much to me. I was a new mom and my husband worked odd hours. He had Tuesdays and Sundays off. So Friday was just another day. But before that, I loved Fridays. As a kid, Fridays meant going home with a friend after school for a sleepover, Saturday morning cartoons, and NO SCHOOL! As a working adult, Friday meant a break from work and going out with friends. Now my husband works M-F and I work from home. We don’t go out with friends nearly as often as before. And now Fridays have a much different meaning to me — they mean rest day.
If you’re a new reader, I’m currently training for my third long distance race of the year — Marine Corps Marathon on October 22. I’m very much looking forward to it, but training for this long is definitely taking a toll. So much so, in fact, that I recently published a post on burnout as well as my runfessional last week expressing my struggle with training. But with every marathon training cycle, I always learn something new. This cycle is no different. So far I’ve learned…
5 Things I’ve Learned This Marathon Training Cycle
1. Training is, and always will be, hard.
There’s really no skirting around it. By nature, training is hard. It’s supposed to be. If running races were easy, everyone would do them. But races aren’t easy, so we train. I’ve re-learned that training is hard.
2. Fueling is important.
I’m not one of those people that times their fueling down to the minute. I eat when my body tells me to. I don’t wait until I’m starving, but if I eat before I’m ready, my tummy doesn’t like it so much. But one thing I started slacking on this summer was fueling before my runs. I’m not sure what happened because this isn’t my first rodeo, but for some reason I lost my way. I had several runs where I either couldn’t finish or felt terrible overall, mostly due to inappropriate fueling before my run. I’ve learned that I can’t slack in this department and made some changes. My runs have greatly improved since.
3. Sleep is critical to good performance.
Summertime is hard with sleep. The sun is up at 5:30 am here and doesn’t go down until almost 10:00 pm at the height of summer. Getting in bed at 9:00 pm seems completely ridiculous and there were weeks where I just wasn’t getting enough quality sleep and my workouts suffered. I learned that I need sleep. Like, a lot of sleep. Luckily as the summer winds down and the sun sets earlier in the evening, it’s perfectly acceptable to get into bed early and be asleep by 10! The drawback? Early morning runs are quickly becoming a thing of the past.
4. I run better when it’s sunny out.
This might be true for most people, but I’ve noticed my runs aren’t nearly as amazing when it’s overcast as when it’s sunny. In terms of pacing I haven’t really noticed much difference there, but I have so much more energy and positivity when the sun is shining. Runs just feel easier. I’ve re-learned during this marathon training cycle that I love running in the warm sunshine.
5. One marathon is enough for me.
This is far and away the biggest, most important thing I’ve learned during this marathon training cycle. One marathon per year is plenty for this runner girl. Two marathons are tough. Two marathons and a 20-mile race is absurd. I love running, don’t get me wrong. And I would still be running even if I weren’t training for a fall marathon. But training for what will end up being 10 straight months is enough to scare anyone off from this amazing sport! So yeah… one marathon is enough.
I love learning new things while in training. Sometimes they’re hard lessons to learn, but completely necessary. My favorite motto? “You learn something new every day!”
Don’t forget to link up with Fairytales and Fitness and me for the Friday Five 2.0. Have a fabulous long weekend, my friends. Catch you on the flip side!
Do you get enough sleep in the summer?
What was YOUR favorite part of Fridays as a kid? What about as an adult?