Yuki Kawauchi of Setagaya, Tokyo, recently turned a very bright light on his country’s running legacy, given a chance by almost no one, he won the Boston Marathon — the oldest and most prestigious of the world’s annual marathons — in frigid temperatures, relentless wind, and horizontal rain. Here's how he prepared.
Ask yourself, “Can I give more?” The answer is usually “Yes” – Paul Tergat
I’ve never been one to resort to endless tinkering with form or the helicopter style of coaching that often goes with it. I encourage my runners to be curious, responsive and connected when it comes to their body in motion. I’d prefer that they pay closer attention to their energetic state as a whole rather than fixate on an isolated area of discomfort or a pesky imperfection. This gives the runners a chance to learn about themselves. They might have to “dig deep” and use everything they know to deal with all the naturally occurring challenges that make distance running so interesting!
Every Sunday my goal is to let the runners know what I’m asking for in terms of conscious efforts, all aimed at minimizing wear and tear on the body and maximizing relaxation and efficiency. The more the body is conscious, the more it becomes capable of receiving higher energies from universal forces. Sports psychologists call it “transcending normal awareness.” It means much more than simply “doing your best” or “giving 100%.”
Whatever you want to call it, this approach is very easy to communicate and all the runners can have their own experience how good their form and breathing are on that particular day. Maybe we feel great on a Sunday when we’re supposed to do a challenging long run, and we surprise ourselves by discovering we can go faster, quite easily without straining.
Don’t push anything guys… nice relaxed running. It’s almost too fast!
The next Sunday, understandably, our legs are more tired so we might experience some difficulty with the same distance. The key is to flex our expectations in terms of training times… not to narrow them down too much.
No need to go any faster guys! Settle into a comfortable rhythm your lungs and legs can keep. Enjoy the scenery and hold your form.
We might run a little slower than we had hoped for in planning but in my philosophy, this is a much better way to internalize our experience. Every workout can be a good workout as long as we put in the right amount of conscious effort. This way we never overtrain, nor do we undertrain.