Posted by: Joe English | October 5, 2009

Marathoning — The slow ones; they’re hard too.

Coach Joe after the 2009 Portland Marathon

Coach Joe after the 2009 Portland Marathon

Today I feel a little like someone has beaten the backs of my legs with a baseball bat. Not that I’ve ever actually been beaten by a baseball bat — and I hope not to offend anyone out there that has — but my calves feel very much like I would imagine they would if someone had pounded on them for about three hours with a Louisville Slugger.

The cause, of course, was running a marathon yesterday. But what’s surprising about the feeling in my legs is that it wasn’t caused by overdoing it. In fact, I set off yesterday to take it easy in the Portland Marathon. I did, in fact, take it very easy.

I think there is a good lesson to be learned here that I can share with you. The lesson goes something like this: even the slow ones are hard.

I have often said — and written here in this forum — that one of the keys to keep from wrecking yourself in a marathon is to back off the pace, or rather to avoid going out too hard for your capabilities. This is true. Selecting a pace that is within our capabilities is one of the keys to making sure that we don’t implode in the last 10KM of a marathon. We should all know that if we take the pace out too hard, those last few miles are going to feel really, really miserable.

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