Running solo comes with its own challenges. There are heartaches and frustrations, but marathon training itself can be even more challenging than an average run. There are days when you just don’t feel like running; you get frustrated with not knowing how exactly far to run; or, even more simply, you may not even know how and where to start.
Training for any type of sporting event takes time and practice; training for a marathon demands even more commitment and determination to ensure you achieve your goal. As you prepare for your upcoming race, there is a price to pay; and you will pay both mentally and physically. However, don’t let this scare you or keep you from running that race. You have to start — and, thereby, commit — to a running schedule; you have to schedule your “long runs,” your “daily runs,” and routine training and, most importantly, you have to start training months out, yes, you read correctly….months out from race day!
So the question remains: Where do you start? How do you commit to the schedule and lifestyle you have created? Some runners are able to make an effort to train with friends, their co-workers or certain community running groups, of which they are current members. However, some beginning runners have no idea where to begin, trust me, I was one of them at the very beginning. These individuals need help from the beginning and along the way; they need motivation, encouragement, and coaching. This is where Endurance Charity Programs work wonders. Yes, you heard me, charity!
We all have certain charities that are close to our hearts. We believe in our charity’s overall mission, and we feel as though it is our duty to spread their messages. Many of us do not realize our charities also have endurance programs, which support athletes such as yourself with training plans.
I support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Team In Training program. As you may have read in my previous posts, I actively encourage and mentor participants to get involved with Team In Training (TNT). I chose this organization because unlike many things in our lives, cancer is not judgmental; it is not selective and it does not choose sides. Of course, there are many other endurance training programs, such as the American Cancer Society’s DetermiNation, the American Red Cross’ Team Red Cross, the AIDS Foundation’s Team To End AIDS, and the Human Right Campaign’s Athletes for Equality, just to list a few. These charity programs will help you with your training all along the way. They make it their goal to provide you with coaching staff, mentors, and specific running schedules, which will help you better prepare for race day.
As you consider what charity you wish to support, I want to leave you with the Leukemia & Lymphoma’s “Someday is Today” campaign video. My goal here to help encourage you to pick a race, join an endurance charity program, and run your first — or one hundredth — half or full marathon! Consider running not just for yourself, but for the hundreds of thousands who depend on charities, like LLS to continue with life saving research, programs, and services throughout the community.