Weeks 6 through 10 on the training schedule are when many runners begin to lose a bit of their marathon training 'focus.’
They’re no longer the "first few weeks of training," with their high levels of adrenaline and energy; and they're not yet those 14, 16 and 18 mile long-run weeks that demand and require our greatest effort and endurance.
Instead, these are the weeks that test our commitment to training consistency and truly test our determination and resolve to become 'marathoners.'
Ray Kroc's book about his founding of McDonald's Corporation (which he titled, “Grinding It Out”) is all about determination and resolve—so I've come to think of these weeks as the "grinding it out" weeks on the training schedule... weeks that shape and strengthen the very foundation on which the second half of our training will stand.
Yes, there will be hot (and humid!) summer days ahead (like this past Saturday here in Chicago. Yikes!). Or days when work, travel or family make it challenging to exactly follow your training schedule—and when that happens, you will need to adjust your training.
But that's okay!
And honestly… a few ‘day-to-day’ changes to your training in the context of an
18-20 week training schedule is not going to make any measurable difference in your performance on marathon day.
So go ahead and make the changes that ‘life’ (or the heat!) are causing you to make, continuing to do ALL you can, the BEST you can on any given day, or in any given week—always keeping your focus on the rather amazing achievement waiting for you on October 8.
And for anyone having a problem getting motivated to run, consider this anecdote...
"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be eaten. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or gazelle--when the sun comes up, you need to get running."
(I LOVE that!)
Keep training safe.
And (of course), keep running strong.