Tips for the Endurance Athlete From Professional Marathoners
With the excitement of next week’s 123rd running of the Boston Marathon building, we thought we would help offer some additional motivation for our (hopeful) endurance athletes. Whether you are in training for your first marathon or you have signed up for your seventh 100-miler, there is no doubt that you often find yourself looking for tips and tricks to help make the miles seem easier or for you to reach that next PR or master some physical feat that you’ve yet to attain. And, while professional endurance athletes undoubtedly do the same thing from time to time, they have proven themselves to share the gift and pass some advice on to the endurance athletes like us.
There’s a whole row at your local library and enough e-books to fill any device on the topic of endurance sport — how to train, how to improve, motivation and inspiration, diets, the best products, etc. So, in today’s post, we will simply attempt to offer a 5k worth of endurance running tips, rounded up from the top athletes in the sport.
”Never stop running for fun.” – Eliud Kipchoge
Eliud Kipchoge is the closest that the human body has ever come to running a sub-2-hour marathon (with an impressive, almost of 2:00:25!). At 34 years young, this Kenyan runner reminds others to never forget why they started running to begin with. It began as tag and soccer and chasing your friends around the neighborhood. As Eliud reminds us, “your mind and your heart are what push you on; your mind drives your legs.”
This reminds us of the similar advice given by the first female Olympic marathoner, Julie Isphording, when she suggested: “run often, run long, but never outrun your joy of running.” The moment that running is a punishment or chore, mix it up or take a break. Never lose the joy in your sport.
”Keep it fresh.” – Dean Karnazes
Dean, the Ultramarathon Man, Karnazes recommends to alternate runs, times, places, and even workouts. To avoid injury and running yourself into a proverbial rut, change it up. Karnazes, who knows a thing or two about super-long-distance running, recommends varying the times of day you run, your route, and how many miles and how quickly you run. An early-morning one-mile sprint around your neighborhood can be just as important as the 20-mile trail run you do. Other endurance athletes include this tip in some form or fashion in their training tips as well.
Jordan Hasay, female record-setting marathoner, attributes her paces and injury recovery to heavy weight lifting in between runs. We couldn’t agree more — strength and weight training help support joints and provide functional strength to support any sport endeavor.
Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first-ever women’s Olympic marathon champion has an obsession with the numbers 26.2 and likes to use it to challenger her brain and mix up her routine. She suggests walking 26.2 minutes one day and then jogging 2.62 miles another. Build up by both time and distance to vary workouts and keep things fresh and fun.
”Don’t count down the miles.” – Des Linden
Desiree Linden, 2018 Boston Marathon female winner, says “thinking how bad you’re hurting with six miles to go allows you to feel sorry for yourself.” Some runners are obsessive about the clock and the mile markers, which can be limiting. Rather than giving it all you’ve got, you tend to stifle yourself, attempting to reserve your fuel for what your head knows is left in the race. Imagine what you can do if you set little challenges and just go for it! Des recommends, instead to find your next rabbit, push it to the next stoplight, set some goal and reach for it.
And, embrace the pain! As Des explains, endurance running is an ongoing quest to answer the question “how much hurt can I put myself through?” run your race to be proud of the answer. And, sing our favorite mantra, spat by Steve “Pre” Prefontaine to yourself “the best pace is a suicide pace, and today is a good day to die.”
*We are not suggesting that you run through an injury or run to hurt yourself, we simply mean endurance running is a mental race much more than a physical one.
Endurance running is a metaphor for life and everything you ever wanted to know about yourself you can learn in 26.2 miles. If you are as excited as we are to watch more records be set this Patriot’s Day in Boston, take some of these tips to begin (or accelerate) your endurance sport training. For more inspiration or to find the personal trainers and fitness equipment you need to achieve your goals, stop by Club Sport Fit of San Jose today!