[tweetmeme http://the13thmile.com/2010/09/09/youcan/] “If you think you can do it, or you think you can’t do it, You are right.”
There are runners who are competitors. Against others. Against themselves.
I just want to finish.
I am confident that many others share this attitude when it comes to long distance running. Hearing of superstars who tear through consecutive six-minute miles can cause intimidation. We think – I can’t run that fast! I could never do a half marathon.
But you can!!!
If there is anything I have learned from my experiences training, from talking to so many other runners these past few months and from my own personal beliefs about goal-setting: ANYONE can run a half marathon.
ANYONE. Yes, you, who hasn’t been to the gym since Bush was still president. Yes, you, the person who can only run three miles (like me three months ago). Yes, you, the person who claims you are “too busy to train”.
Saying you’re tired, busy, out-of-shape, don’t know where to start…these are all excuses. Excuses you will snap in half – one step at a time. One mile at a time. Put one foot in front of the other. Keep doing it. And soon…you will hit 13 miles. Of course, I’m breaking it down to its most basic steps, but training is really that easy.
Granted, I’m not the roadrunner. I’m slow – My pace is around a ten-minute mile. I’m not perfect in form, in training, in anything else. But the one thing I’ve got? Persistence. I don’t ever give up. I keep pushing forward. In my mind, there are two things you need to train for a half marathon: The goal of crossing the finish line and the persistence to not give up. Do you have those things? Then start lacing up your sneakers.
Here are my four basic tricks:
When building mileage: Take that extra half mile with each training session
- Don’t be afraid to walk. Walking builds endurance and accustoms your body to long mileage
- Once you are comfortable with the mileage: Run that extra half mile (instead of walking) with each training session
- Listen to your body – Never push to the point of injury
My first official race is ten days from today, but for the past five weeks, half marathon distance runs have squeezed their way into my weekends. I want to tell you how easy it is to just cross the finish line. I want to encourage everyone who reads this post to share it with your friends who think they can’t do it.