Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Break it down now...

How do you count your miles? When I swim I break distances into sets of 100, 200, 250... whatever enables me to focus on swimming and not oh god, how far do I still have to go? It doesn't make me a better swimmer or help with technique, but it gets me to what's next.

And what's next right now: the marathon.

marathon quote of the day:

Running is the greatest metaphor for life, because you get out of it what you put into it.

- Oprah Winfrey

For weeks I've twiddled in my head ideas about how to parse the miles in this race.

I'm not looking at race strategy in my first marathon, just brain games.

While I could just run, following the course until, well, it ends, there's something reassuring to me about breaking down 26.2 miles into something... less than 1.5 days' worth of round-trip commuting for me. (See how well I can deflate myself?)

Running to five miles 5.5 times, for instance, might be easier to conquer than 4+ hours of run, run, run. Or 2.5 sets of 10-milers. Or four sets of 6.5 miles.

Do you have an approach to marathon miles? Whether it's a race look, walk-and-run method or just a miles-counting game, what do you do to run the 26.2 mental miles?


TRI Vortex said...

I'm no where near marathon distance. So far my longest run has been 4 miles. But I just saw "PaceTat" on someone blog and it looked pretty cool to manage your slits.

Michelle said...

I run a half marathon just running, no thought really, then the next ten I visualize the 10 mile loop at the park...so now I am at 23.1...so anyone can run an easy 3.1...that is a quick 5k...no big deal. Granted I have only done 4. Akron was my favorite. I'll be there doing the half this year.

EVIE5000 said...

I break my marathon down in to common shorter race distances (5m, 10K, 10m & 13.1) which really helps get the first half over quickly. Then I usually take a GU at 16, then focus on 21 to get over the 20 hump. Then there is "only" 5 to go. The marathon is a total numbers game mentally. Don't mind the digital sign at EJ Thomas Hall telling you you only have 23.1 miles to go. I thought that was hilarious...um...after the fact. Good luck!

Landon said...

I don't know why, but I sometimes break marathons into successive "halves". The first 13 I do mindlessly. The next seven I think about as a unit I've run a lot; it's less than an hour! Then the next four are usually hard for me so I have to concentrate on form. Then the next two are just trying to stay on pace and not give into mind games. By then I can see the end and just run like hell.