This is how it works:
Training is doing your homework.
It's not exciting. More often than not it's tedious. There is certainly
no glory in it. But you stick with it, over time, and incrementally
through no specific session, your body changes.
Your mind becomes calloused to effort. You stop thinking of running as
difficult or interesting or magical. It just becomes what you do. It
becomes a habit.
Workouts too become like this. Intervals,
tempos, strides, hills. You go to the track, to the bottom of a hill,
and your body finds the effort. You do your homework. That's training.
Repetition--building deep habits, building a runner's body and a
runner's mind. You do your homework, not obsessively, just regularly.
Over time you grow to realize that the most important workout that you
will do is the easy hour run. That's the run that makes everything else
possible. You live like a clock.
After weeks of this, you will have a month of it. After months of it, you will have a year of it.
Then, after you have done this for maybe three or four years, you will
wake up one morning in a hotel room at about 4:30am and do the things
you have always done. You eat some instant oatmeal. Drink some Gatorade.
Put on your shorts, socks, shoes, your watch. This time, though,
instead of heading out alone for a solitary hour, you will head towards a
big crowd of people. A few of them will be like you: they will have a
lean, hungry look around their eyes, wooden legs. You will nod in their
direction. Most of the rest will be distracted, talking among their
friends, smiling like they are at the mall, unaware of the great and
magical event that is about to take place.
You'll find your way
to a tiny little space of solitude and wait anxiously, feeling the tang
of adrenaline in your legs. You'll stand there and take a deep breath,
like it's your last. An anthem will play. A gun will sound.
Then you will run.
- JEFF EDMONDS The Logic of Long Distance