10 Ways Marathon Training Is Like Marriage
Training for a marathon or any type of endurance sport or competition, requires discipline but have you ever stopped to think about the many ways sports training and competition are like a marriage? Here are my thoughts:
10 Ways Marathon Training Is Like Marriage:
Marriage: There are going to be good days and bad days in a marriage. From the beginning, you commit your mind and heart to the relationship. It’s easy to give up. It takes commitment to stay together.
Marathon training: Just like a marriage, you are going to ROCK some training days and other days, you just won’t feel it. You won’t feel like working out or running and it will be easy to skip it. Making a commitment to stay the course will see you through the tough days.
2) Determination and Goals
Marriage: Set your mind from the beginning that you are in it for the long haul. Relationships change and grow. Be prepared to change and grow together. Set goals as a couple such as to save for home, to grow spiritually, to always be kind to each other.
Marathon training: Setting goals for your training will not only help keep you on track but will also develop the mental aspect of the game. Running a marathon requires as much mental endurance as physical. Make a training plan and schedule for the week and stick to it. Evaluate how you feel before and after and adjust goals as needed to take you to the next level.
3) They both can wear you out
Marriage: Let’s face it, not everyday is going to be rosy and pretty. Go back to numbers 1 and 2 on this list. Keeping those in mind will help you embrace the relationship and keep moving forward together in a positive way. Keep it fresh… check out number 4.
Marathon training: Some days training will kick your butt. That is what training is for! Without training, you can’t improve. Rest when you need to rest but get back on track as soon as possible. Resting too long will only set you back in endurance training. Keep it fresh by incorporating different types of workouts into your training. So I don’t get burnt out on running, I include AQUA workouts, interval training workouts and BARRE Fusion classes. Take the time. It’s important.
Marriage: Plan play dates as a couple. Movie night, walks together. Staying active improves communication and respect for one another. Makes plans as a couple to feel engaged and connected to each other.
Marathon training: Setting goals (number 2 on this list) is a little different than planning. Once goals are set, plan what time you will go to bed to get up for your run the next morning. How much water will you need to bring? Do you need to bring energy boosting snacks? I carry orange slices on my long run days. Plan which days will be your long run days. Incorporate recovery run days into your training. Planning will help you achieve your goals.
5) Friends for Life
Marriage: You and your partner had different friends when you met. Now many of those friends are your friends, too. And, as your relationship grows and changes, you will make new friends. Some of them, friends for life.
Marathon training: Join a running group. Work with a running trainer. During the race itself you will meet people from all over the world. Some of those people may become friends for life. AWESOME!
6) Invigorating and Fun
Marriage: Laugh together. Workout together. Keep it interesting, engaging and have fun!
Marathon training: Run with a friend. Make training a game. Keep it interesting by running different routes, add hills, treadmill train at the gym. Share your experience with others who will help keep you motivated and strong. Have fun! It’s the best thing to have and takes the pressure off of training.
Marriage: A fit and healthy YOU will greatly improve your sex life. If you feel good on the outside, you will probably feel better on the inside, too. Feeling good about YOU will give you confidence with your partner.
Marathon training: It is no secret that endorphin highs lead to better sex. And, running improves total body conditioning, strengthens muscles and helps to clear the mind all of which means a more positive feeling with your partner in the bedroom.
8) Time for YOU
Marriage: No matter how much you love someone, you still need time for YOU. Do something that is just for you. Reading, fishing, hiking, make sure you get some “you” time in so that you have more of “you” to share when you are with your partner. That’s a lot of “you”s and it should be. This is your time.
Marathon training: When out on a run, my mind gets clear, I’m improving my body conditioning, I can think through family issues, business issues, meditate. Running is a great way to engage in YOU time. Enjoy it!
Marriage: Talking to your partner about how you feel allows for self expression. People just want to be heard. The other part of the communication equation is to be a good listener. Share the talking and listening experience for a more connected relationship. Really “hear” your partner and sometimes just listen. Not everything needs to be fixed. Sometimes a person just needs to feel heard.
Marathon training: Believe it or not, communication is a vital part of marathon training. Communicating to your trainer about how your body feels during the training process. Your mind communicates to your legs to move, it’s a total body experience. Make sure you are reading your body signals correctly. Is that knee injured or just tired? Only you can gage how your body truly feels. Communicate with it and pay attention to what your body may be trying to tell you. Also, communicate with other runners and experienced marathoners about what they have learned from training. They will most likely have valuable insight you can use to improve your performance.
10) Nutrients Matter
Marriage: Garbage in equals a sluggish, unattractive-feeling you. The better foods you eat, the better you are going to feel about yourself. I am a healthy food expert. I develop healthy recipes for a living. I know what I am talking about. If you consistently stuff your body with French fries, burgers, cheese, chicken wings and macaroni, you are not putting your best version of you forward into your relationship. Eat foods that fuel the body and the mind in a healthy way and eat those foods together. Together, healthy, you are stronger.
Marathon training: The same as for a marriage, garbage foods will sabotage your marathon training efforts. Strive to stay away from alcohol completely during training. (and for marriage, limit alcohol consumption on a regular basis… too much alcohol never helped a marriage. Period.) Eat foods that make your body more fuel efficient like lean proteins, stay away from cheese, choose fresh vegetables and prepare them steamed or baked, not fried. Choose fat friendly snacks like almonds, walnuts, cashews… For a comprehensive list of nutritious foods for training, read this article here: Marathon Training : Nutrition
BONUS! 11) Celebrate the FINISH LINE!
Marriage: WooHOO! When you are both old and gray and have “DONE” life together, what a feeling!!!! My parents have been married for 58 years and are still in love as ever. What a sense of accomplishment they have achieved together and you can, too!!!!
Marathon training: WooHOO! High fives and hugs!!! You did it!!! Your hard work paid off and you crossed that finish line SMILING. Everything is possible if you put your mind and a little bit of discipline to it. Congratulations! YOU ARE A WINNER!
RUN THE KAUAI MARATHON WITH ME! Sunday, September 6 is race day… taking place in beautiful Poipu Beach on the Garden Isle, registration and details, here: The Kauai Marathon