The Final Surge

Andy Richardson is a blogger at Start Running for Beginners. He is training for his first marathon using Angie’s Official Guide Ebook.

I had been running for 14 miles when it happened . . .

My run started at 6:15 a.m. when it was dark and much cooler. But after running for over two hours things had changed. I was now out of fuel, not to mention energy.

My cardio endurance was doing okay, but my legs were burning, and seemed to have turned to jello. I still had three miles to get back home, but it might as well have been another 14 miles. I was unsure if I would even make it back to the house. Sound familiar?

Motivation to Keep Going

At that point I had a thought that gave me some motivation to keep going. I realized that my race day was approaching quicker than my mile pace, and if I wanted to finish the marathon I needed to get some good long runs in over the next few weeks. After all, my marathon date of November 5 is just a few weeks away. I knew that now is the time to work in order to be ready; and I knew it started with this training run.

You see – before that day, my best run was about 14 miles. For a long time my training had hit a plateau, and for some reason I just could not get past running that distance. But this new revelation hit me like a ton of bricks, and I knew it was time to really have a final surge in my training in order to finish the race, much less have a good race time.

So back to my training run: you know…. legs burning, body aching? Right. So I just kept asking myself how I would feel about myself later if I gave up. I thought about how I would feel if I came up short during the race. These thoughts pushed me forward. I just told myself to keep going; keep going; keep going.

I did keep going, and somehow I was able to eek out that 17 mile run. I may have had to walk part of that last 3 miles, and I definitely did not break any records, but I did it. But when I was done with that run, make no mistake about it, I physically felt terrible. I didn’t even have enough energy to do a proper cool down. (Shh, don’t tell Angie). And part of me wondered how I would ever be able to run another 9.2 miles.

With time though, I began to rest and recuperate from the run. By the way, isn’t it funny how runs are not nearly as difficult when you are back at the house in the air-conditioning as they are when you are chugging along. Anyway, with time I started to feel better about myself, and my ability to run the race.

The Surge in My Training

I realize that my body is building strength and endurance each day, and that I will probably be fine as long as I can train right these last few weeks. I have built a good base over the last several months, and now is the time to surge to the finish.

I really want to hit the 20 mile mark in my training runs before I actually run the race, and I will make one final surge to finish strong with my training and ultimately the race. I have spent months just building up to this point, and now is the moment of truth. I am confident in saying that I am ready for it!

What do you think?
Are you ready to make a final surge in your training so that you can be ready for race day?

4 Responses to The Final Surge

  1. Trevor September 27, 2011 at 1:10 pm #

    I know where you’re coming from Andy! I ran 18 miles last week and my legs were totally hammered. I was thinking, “How am I going to make it to 26.2?”

    I am in the final surge of my training with a marathon coming up in 4 weeks. Time to ramp up the cross-training.

    I hope my legs get carried away in the excitement of the marathon and forget how tired they are.

    • Andy September 28, 2011 at 6:16 am #

      That would be great if my legs forget how tired they are too!

      What kinds of cross training are you doing?


  2. Wendy October 27, 2011 at 12:43 pm #

    I had found out that doing Plyomentrics once a week and yoga combined with core workouts during my rest days is helping me tremendously. I also do HIIT (high intensity interval training) first thing in the morning and I can’t even describe how that itself had improved my conditioning, my lungs are stronger and legs feel so light. I am learning so much listening the podcasts is hard to have a favorite.


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