February is definitely the hump month of Boston Marathon training. The weather is worst, with cold biting wind and icy roads. Mileage is ramping up so every week is a balancing act of building mileage, dropping pace time, dropping weight and avoiding injury.
Today's mid-week run was 6 miles, with freezing rain and sleet outside. Given the conditions, I went to my regular indoor track for 72 laps, which is more challenging mentally than physically. How I stay focused:
- Count down the laps, rather than counting up. It's more motivating.
- Whenever possible, use a lap counter rather than keeping it in your head.
- If you keep it in your head, call out the correct lap at every turn. Losing count is all too easy - which is very frustrating.
- Keep a tough enough pace so your mind can't fixate too much on the task at hand.
Last year, I once had to do 120 laps, or 10 miles. Once you're in the right mental groove, it feels like you could go on forever.