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Marathon training like the underpants gnomes

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The February issue of Runner’s World arrived in my letterbox last week with a painful reminder that the marathon is really close. Wonder if it’s too late to change my entry to that 2.2k option.

I know this is probably the weirdest blog post title I’ve ever posted on here but, as usual, I ask you to bear with me.

I’ve got a marathon to run in about a month and a half. Just under 7 weeks to be sort of precise. I can’t be any more precise because that involves counting the days until March 3 and I am really scared of doing that. If you know how many to go, don’t tell me.

I’ve been doing my little runs and every time S. and I run together we tell each other we “really need to get onto that Google Docs spreadsheet and come up with a plan”. Then a few days go by, we meet up for another run and we remind ourselves that, gee, “we really have to get onto that Google Docs spreadsheet and come up with a plan”. I mean, considering we’ve never run 42.2k in our entire lives and we’ve just come out of an indulgent holiday season, we should probably have a plan. Yeah, we really need to get onto that Google Docs spreadsheet and come up with a plan.

Tomorrow, maybe.

An article on Nerd Fitness* today talks about “crucial mistakes newbies make trying to get healthy”. After gasping at the realisation that I’ve been doing this shit for quite some time now but still make most of those mistakes, I realised that one of them, in particular, is the perfect description of my current situation.

The article mentions a classic South Park episode with underpants gnomes who collect people’s underpants as phase 1 of a 3 phase plan. Phase 3 is profit but they have no idea what phase 2 is.

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You’re smart people, otherwise you wouldn’t be here, so you get where I’m going with this. When it comes to marathon training, I’m a freaking underpants gnome.

Now that I think about it, I have a phase 3 (cross the finish line in New Plymouth on March 3), but I barely have a phase 1 and I definitely don’t have a phase 2. I’ve been running as much as possible I feel like but I haven’t exactly been training.

Some might say “well, all those runs count as training”. You’re not wrong, whoever you are. But those are only a very small part of the training. And that’s pretty much the only part I’ve been doing.

I effectively have 7 weeks to quit aimlessly bagging small runs like the gnomes bagged underpants and actually come up with a proper plan that will lead to profit finishing that marathon (preferably without collapsing, but I realise I may be asking too much at this stage).

I need to outline mileage and make changes to my routine (more sleep, less coffee, better food), just like I did the last time I trained for something properly. Most of all, I have 7 weeks to change my attitude and get back into the “I can totally do this” mindset that I got into before that 35k trail run last year. To this day, I’m pretty sure that it was my mental preparation that got me through that race, more than any physical training.

So, yeah. We really need to get onto that Google Docs spreadsheet and come up with a plan. A scarily short plan.

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