Master the marathon with advice from psychologist Dr Victor Thompson
I am entered at VLM (my 4th marathon in 12months) and i have had a horrendous run up with injuries and flu and now I am suffering from overtraining syndrome. I am finding it difficult to decide whether to do the race as I am very competitive and had it in my mind to go for a PB (sub 3:15) but now it is an impossible ask so wondered whether you would advise me to sit out of this one or to do the race and if so what to do in order to get rid of my angst of underperforming.
If you are overtrained, you are very unlikely to get a new PB. Will that be totally dissatisfying?
Can you do it just to enjoy it? No?
Then, my advice would be to walk away, review what led to the overtraining situation, and ensure that you return wise and fresh for another marathon challenge.
Hi Victor, Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions! Mine is a fairly common issue: can you tell me why, after 14 weeks of good training where I've run farther and faster than ever before, 9 days before my first marathon I'm struggling to run 5 miles in less than 10 minute miles? I think I know the answer, and that is that my nerves are getting in the way. The trouble is, every bad run I have makes it worse! Do you have any tips or specific things to do to get myself out of this dip and ready for Sunday, April 22nd? Thank you.
And thanks to you and all others for the questions – I’ve almost kept up the required pace to answer them!
Who hasn’t had a bad run, week, or felt phantom injuries in the lead up to an event. Or, put another way, who’s had a great lead-up without any doubts? Anyone? That’s right, NO ONE.
Maybe you are tired? Maybe you are putting too much into the ‘I need to do this distance at this pace while feeling fantastic’ type of training right now.
The result will be known on Sunday afternoon, not before. So do your last 9 days of training pretty well, then have a good plan which you FOLLOW on Sunday, rise to the challenges, and congratulate yourself for giving it a go. Remember, thousands run it, but millions sit watching it on the sofa. You are risking it, testing yourself, you are one of the brave ones. Well done. You have done so much already!
Sorry guys, I have to go now. Thanks for all your questions. Best of luck to all of you, but don't leave it to chance:
Plan your race weekend,
Talk (internally) nice and helpfully to yourself
And, well done on going out there and testing yourself
You can check out my other tips on the Runners World site or on my website www.sportspsychologist.com
Ivy Mike wrote:
Thanks again for all your questions. I wanted to return to the forum to answer the ones that you had submitted, but that I hadn't managed to get to on Friday.
For all of you doing the VLM - have a great one. Enjoy it (yes, really). Do yourself proud. It's important, but after all, it is still only a run (plus maybe some walking). So try to keep the event in prespective, so you have a greater chance of doing well, having a good day, and walking away with your head held high.
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