Monday, May 18, 2009

Pace Tip -- Resist the "NOW" temptation.

Ok. Your marathon is right around the corner and you've invested plenty! And No, I'm not talking about the registration fee or the cost of the hotel room. I'm talkin about time! Think about it, TIME IS WAY MORE valuable than money. No matter what, you just can't get a refund. You want to make the most of your hard work. You want to reach your time goal in your marathon and be proud of all the hard work you did to prepare for this day. You got down to Running Central and scored a pair of pavement blisterers. You have your race gear and gels ready. Now you need to put up or shut up! No Sweat. Here is a tip for those of you who use a GPS watch. Truth is, even if you don't have one, you can use this advice. All you need is a watch with a timer with split capability like the Timex Ironman. But if you have a Garmin try this:

1. Have the watch display your lap pace in one of the panels

2. Change the Lap distance from 1 mile to 4 miles.

3. Mentally think of each 4 mile segment as a new run.

Greg White gave me this advice and I applied it using my Garmin GPS. I find focusing on every four miles is less mentally draining than trying to stay on pace each and every mile. If I have a tough stretch of road or If I fall off pace it's less stressful for me knowing I have a longer distance to work on getting back on track. The brain is wired to put more importance on short term gratification. As a result we keep failing at our long term objectives because the instant gratification prevents obtaining it. Long term I am happier being thin but that instant joy of french fries happens often enough that even if I have will power today, I might not tomorrow. 2 or 3 times I might resist but, seeing no real weigh loss in a week, I tend to give in thinking I am not really making much progress and besides I can control myself bettter next time. The marathon is similar to life. The miles are immediate while the long term goal is to finish on time. It never happens fast enough for me, be it weight loss or marathon running. My mind does not do a good job of looking at the long term so I need such tricks to force myself into a longer time frame perspective.

Hope this helps.


1 comment:

Matt S. said...

I know we talked for a while this evening, but I'm going to give you a buzz tomorrow to get some Garmin guidance. I don't have clue how to set up my Garmin for 4 mile splits (I like that idea). I mentally beat myself up watching that thing jump pace every mile. I need help Rob!