April is the Toughest Month
At the Masters Golf Tournament, Saturday is called moving day. When I was a young HS miler, Coach Arnold always said that the 3rd quarter was the toughest one. When training for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon, April is my toughest month. Near the end of March is the world’s largest truck show in Louisville, KY. It throws me off my schedule. I climb in and out of my truck 60 times per day to show people the interior. I have trouble imagining that after a 16 mile run.
This year the show coincided with the 12-14 mile runs after the first 16 miler. I am looking at it as a bit of a breather before April. I still got my miles in but they weren’t “work miles”. I did a relaxing 5 miles per day without looking at the clock. It gave me a psychological rest before what I consider the most important month.
At the beginning of April, we are feeling some general fatigue from marathon training. At the least we are tiring of the routine and commitment of marathon training. We still have 7 weeks to go. Once May hits we can see the end. We have survived our first 20+ mile training rum. This year, I am focusing in on April. It will not beat me this year. This is the month that I was thinking about, when I lifted that first weight back in November. For the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon, April is when the tough get going.
May 21st is race day. By the time May roles around we are in about as good a shape as we are going to get. By the end of April we will have already run 20 miles. By the second weekend in May, we are starting to taper. Our bodies are recuperating and energizing for the race. We have rounded the corner and can see the end. In April we are extending our runs past the 20 mile marker and we still can’t see the end. We’re tired. Our bodies are sore. It is not easy to push through April, but it is necessary for an enjoyable race day.
The Prevea Training Runs make April easier. Maybe it is the shared suffering. The encouragement given between the other runners definitely helps. The water stations make life more convenient. More than anything else it still comes down to individual commitment. On those April training runs no one is lining the streets cheering you on. No one is handing you a finisher’s medal as you finish your run. April is about commitment.
May is coming. It is a lie if anyone tells you that race day is going to be easy. It won’t be. What I am saying is that doing ALL of the April training is tougher. Hopefully we have all laid the foundation to prepare us for April’s heavy miles. If you have done that and buckle down in April. Race day will be more fun.