On patience and persistence

I’m now in Week 2 of Marathon Training and have managed to pull myself out of the funk I was stuck in at the start of January. I’ve settled into a nice routine with work and workouts, and have even got some of my team involved in lunchtime runs to Primrose Hill in Central London.

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As I’ve begun another training season, something has really struck me; it’s all about persistence, and patience. We already know that you need to be persistent on a long run; or when you’re pushing hard and your legs are threatening to give up. You need persistence and tenacity to keep showing up to your workouts, especially if you’ve had a bad one recently. But patience is equally importance, and it’s something I struggle with personally.

In my last training season, I was far too impatient- I wanted to do it all at once, not hang around waiting to hit a certain pace or number of miles per week. I ran too much, too far and too fast, and essentially threw all caution to the wind. Aaand we know how that ended- I got an injury, which I continued to ignore, until one day I woke up unable to manage more than a hobble to my kitchen and back. Following a 9 week break from running, in which I went close to insane, I got back at it; this time with a bit more appreciation for the limitations of my body and the need to do things gradually.

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And so now, in Week 2 of this training season, I’m acknowledging my impatience, and trying to rein it in slightly. I’m trying to trust in the process and respect my training plan, as well as remembering that progress doesn’t happen all at once. Whilst I’m chomping at the bit, I’m trying to savour the slow pace runs and shorter distances before the cumulative muscle fatigue starts to kick in and make me cranky and hungry (as I’m almost certain it will).

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So here’s to patience and persistence. Running, as with life, is just about putting one foot in front of the other.

How’s your running been going? Are you training for a Spring Marathon?

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

 

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26 thoughts on “On patience and persistence

  1. I always need to remember to be patient as well. When you have a big, lofty goal out there, it can be hard to trust the process and easy to compare where you are in Week 1 with where you need to be at Week 16. I’m struggling with that a bit for my Ironman this summer. I’m in a good place with running and swimming, but my cycling has suffered (by design) this winter. I need to keep reminding myself that if I could do the whole race today, I wouldn’t need the training plan at all.

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  2. I’m training for Phoenix and Boston marathons and can’t agree with you more that being patient is key! I’ve run too many miles too fast and have had to deal with injury as a consequence. It’s no fun! They say that running and marathon training is a patient-person’s sport, just like weight loss, and I fully support that. You need a solid base of miles before you can jump into anything. Good luck!

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  3. Well done!

    I’m training for two back to back spring half marathons (one Saturday, one Sunday). Unfortunately, I’ve found the funk you banished. I MUST get back to work or those two races will be super ugly.

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    1. Ooh yeah I hear you on that. How i got out of the funk (very weirdly) was to take the pressure off myself- I wrote a blog post admitting I had the blahs, and even just writing it felt so much better. I even got to the gym the next day (despite telling myself i could have the next 5 days off, guilt free). I hope you figure it out!

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  4. Yes! The best part about running post injury is that you can finally run again and really appreciate being able to run any miles! The bad thing is, you can only run a few miles at the beginning…. But consistency means you can safely build up!!

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    1. Yeah I’m still working on it! Like at lunchtime yesterday I ran 5 miles, which would have been unthinkable for me until recently. 5 miles a few weeks ago, with my injury, would have been a huge deal, with a ton of build up, and lots of stretching and recovery. To be able to do it so casually (on my lunch break of all things) was really a treat!

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  5. I totally know what you mean. We as a society love instant gratification and it’s hard not to want everything all at once. Running, especially distance running, is a humbling sport – it consistently denies you the instant gratification you crave, like a parent doing something you hate “for your own good”. In this way, running also rewards those who stick with it. We learn the value of patience, hard work, and respecting the process. It takes a while, though, and it’s not just something where you can say “okay, I vow to be more patient!” and it’s a done deal. You have to make the choice every single day to value patience, and it will be hard sometimes. That’s the somewhat humerous irony of it – it takes patience to learn patience πŸ™‚

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    1. You said it! It’s so frustrating trying to be patient and waiting for the progress to happen. But then I have to remember that I’m not really waiting- I’m putting in the hard work, and eating well and taking rest days and thats what will make it happen!

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  6. Glad to hear you’re able to run again! I’m training for the Paris marathon, coming off an injury myself. The first few weeks I wanted to do more, and now I’m finally settling into a place where I’m enjoying that the training isn’t totally kicking my butt so I can still do other things (like strength training). I hope you have a similar experience! Looking forward to following along!

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    1. Yes! Tho recently my paces have been slightly higher than they should be- mainly because I’m running with other people and it’s hard/humbling to set your own pace. But I’m working on it! Got some kind of cold virus so taking today off but hopefully getting back at it soon!

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  7. Great post! I struggle with this EXACT same issue. I hurt myself trying to get it all at once and now the time off from running has been killing me. Patience and persistence is really tested with injuries. Great advice! #respecttheplan

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  8. I hear you on the impatience – I am so impatient! I want instant gratification. I think I tacked on too many miles last training session and the ones that I ran didn’t help me. My legs were too tired so the quantity was there, but the quality was not. I’m being more diligent about keeping my easy days easy and really trying to tackle the quality miles and not worry so much about the quantity!

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  9. I’m training for Edinburgh in May, my first marathon. I started back in August and my plan moves along very slowly, so my long runs are 6.5 or 8.5 on a Sunday for about 2 months! But I’m just trusting the plan and I think it’s working. I suppose patience and trust sort of go hand in hand.😊

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  10. i ran around kensington park last week it was fun and COLD! You never told me it stays dark for so long!!! yes trust in the plan, my problem was wanting to run too fast and got my stress fracture…it took me hiring a running coach to get my act together but way to be awesome and have perspective so early!

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