Aaron Hewitt, PA-C, is a Physician Assistant with OrthoCarolina Sports Medicine and a former Assistant Athletic Trainer with the Minnesota Vikings (NFL). He will run Thunder Road on November 15 – his first and only marathon. This is the third installment of "Watch Aaron Run." Read part one and part two.
When you run a marathon, I would argue very few people do it alone. I can be a little bull-headed and accepting that I can't do it alone has been harder than I thought. Then I had a revelation: this isn’t all about me.
In the running sense, yes, “I” am doing all the running. I’m the one training to run 26 miles...but there are many others involved.
Running this kind of distance requires a large amount of physical (and mental) preparation. That’s why this week I wanted to touch on your running “support group.” This includes everyone from your running buddies to your spouse to your yoga teacher. Here's a list of 5 people you need to say thank you to during marathon training!
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1) Your Training Group
I am currently training with other runners from my local gym with the shared goal of running the Charlotte Thunder Road Marathon/Half Marathon. We do a weekly sprint night together and discuss running homework for the week. As the weather gets gloomier, the days get shorter and the runs get longer, it’s nice to have this group to motivate me and holds me accountable.
One of the things that I enjoy most about training with a group is that it gives me the opportunity to run with people who push me. Sometimes I may not work to my physical limits when training solo but if I’m running with a group, it's easier to stay motivated and challenge myself. I find it harder to quit on those group runs.
2) Your Friends and Family
There are other critical players in the support group - significant others, friends, family members...they take on the burden and make sacrifices too.
- Instead of a sharing a big bowl of fettuccine alfredo at the local Italian place, you’re recommending a lighter fare.
- Instead of tailgating for the football game, they’re going home early with you so you can run the next morning.
- We can’t go on vacation on that specific day because of a race.
- You can’t lift “legs” with your pals one day because you know in the back of your mind you have a long tempo run the next night.
3) Your Healthy Body Team
Then there is the crew that keeps your body healthy and your running on track - yoga teachers, physical therapists, running coaches, massage therapists. This team is an integral part of reaching your goal.
4) The Race Organizers
There are so many people who dedicate their time to making it a successful race. I can't imagine how much preparation goes in planning and executing the race. From registration to the Expo to course monitoring to clock keeping to water stops...there is a huge amount of logistics and manpower required!
5) The Fans
And obviously, there are the fans cheering for you to do something amazing!
All of these people have a vested interest in your success. Make sure you acknowledge that, thank them and share in the celebration of a successful race together!