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Marathon Training a Blast

Marathon training - whether you're training for a marathon in New York, Chicago, Ottawa or the Sahara - is a buzz that few forget.

But it's not the endless miles or the hours in the gym that stick in the memory. It's the mental grind. The place where fitness does not matter. The place where the mind takes control.

If you've ever run a marathon, or even been a spectator, you'll appreciate the motivation and commitment involved. The mind games. If you're not prepared when it comes to race day you can expect many hours of suffering and struggle!

It doesn't have to be that way, of course, if you build your training marathon over several months. That requires commitment and motivation, and a belief that the accumulation of all those training miles will help you to reach your goal -- whether that is time-oriented, or the equally valid desire to simply finish.

Twenty-six miles? Or an hour with the weights. Your marathon can be any part of your fitness regime. Any part that makes you struggle. When just getting to the end is the ultimate goal. And either way, it comes down to those two intangibles ... motivation and commitment.

Motivation And Commitment

So what is meant exactly by motivation and commitment when related to marathon training? Motivation is the desire to achieve something unusual that gives you the incentive to do things that other people are not prepared to do. Few people are prepared to train week in, week out so that they can stand at the start of a marathon and say to themselves, "Yes, I am ready and I couldn't have done anything more."

You can always do something more, but even elite athletes feel that way. Every athlete has their challenges -- whether it's getting the children ready for school, or an Achilles injury. It's how we overcome these challenges that makes us stronger, and mean we can stand on the start line with a quiet confidence.

If you're working full time you might have to get up every day at five a.m. to fit your training in, and this will take commitment, motivation and determination. It won't help if after a few weeks you revert to your former habits, and get up half an hour before you have to leave for work.

For Marathon Training To Work ...

Whether it is getting up early, or beginning a fitness program, your motivation and commitment needs to last over the long term to have an affect. In training for a marathon it will not help running for ten miles every two weeks, and doing no exercise in between. Your body will have forgotten what it has to do by the time you run again! It is better to run three or more times a week with one longer run on the weekend, and you will be in better shape.

These small, regular runs will add up to success over time. But they are far easier to do when you have a target to aim at. This can be a time you want to run, or the desire to complete the 26 mile race. Either way, if you know what you want to achieve you will be more likely to do the things you need to do. Having a target concentrates the mind, and increases your motivation.

One one final key. Marathon training is not restricted to the occasions you can slip off your street clothes and slide into your shorts. If you take every opportunity during your normal working day to do the tasks you have to do in the manner most likely to enhance your marathon training, you'll easily double the benefits. Taking the stairs rather than the elevator, getting off the bus or train a stop early and walking ...

Motivation and commitment to a marathon training schedule that includes regular small chunks inserted into a normal schedule ... pretty soon you won't even notice how effectively you're training for a marathon