Emil Zátopek, the Czech long-distance runner best known for winning three gold medals at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki once said “We are different, in essence, from other men. If you want to win something, run 100 meters. If you want to experience something, run a marathon.”
3 weeks tomorrow I will run my first marathon and during my long training runs I think I am already starting to understand at least part of what he meant. This morning I ran 22 miles. I could have easily quit several times during this run, but what would I gain from that? Training yourself to have the discipline to keep running even when you are tired, or your feet hurt, or your nipples are sore, or you have all of these niggles and maybe a few more is as much a lesson in life as it is about running. My training has taught me persistence, tenacity and that I am capable of more than even I believed.
Zátopek is also quoted as saying “There is a great advantage in training under unfavorable conditions. It is better to train under bad conditions, for the difference is then a tremendous relief in a race.” I hope he is right.
The long runs in my training have been anything but easy, but I’ve done them regardless. I’ve also deliberately found big hills to run up in the hope that when I get to race day any hills I encounter will give me an edge – knowing I’ve already run up worse.
For the next 3 weeks I will be reducing my training mileage, resting my body so that I can give my best on race day. I will still be running. I’ll still run hills but the distances will be getting shorter. Professional athletes call this tapering and if it works for them who am I to argue. Remember, I’m just a guy who less than a year ago couldn’t run one single mile without stopping.
2013 Miles in 2013
I am doing my 2013 miles in 2013 challenge in aid of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust as I have been surprised since I started fundraising for the CF Trust just how many people are unaware of this disease and so I hope my efforts will not just raise money, but also awareness of the UK’s most most common life-threatening inherited disease.
The first person to commit to sponsoring my 2013 mile challenge has committed to 1p per mile (£20.13 in total) and this got me thinking. I am hoping that as many as possible of those reading this will commit to do the same and the best thing is, if each person does this on a “pay as you go” type approach all you will need to part with is approx £2 just after each pay day. In January I completed 205.9 miles, in February I completed a further 200.9 miles, in March I completed 185.7 miles and in April I completed 192.1 miles. If you can please spare £7.85 to help the Cystic Fibrosis Trust it will be greatly appreciated.
The easiest way to give your sponsorship is to visit my Just Giving page: http://www.justgiving.com/2012-AYearWithoutBeer-CF.
2013 Miles in 2013 – The rules
The rules for my 2013 miles in 2013 challenge are quite simple:
- All miles must be completely self powered (no motors, sails, etc)
- I must be able to evidence all miles, either via GPS or with a picture of any static gym equipment
To complete my 2013 miles I will be running, cycling, rowing and who knows, I might even try a few other self powered methods along the way.