You will be receiving many wise responses to your post... I am not an expert like many others who hang around this bulletin board, but here is my contribution.
- Cut your training program down to manageable pieces. It's hard to focus "October" in July, so maybe you can break your program down to, say, 10-day portions where you work on a specific thing in each portion (short intervals, long intervals, hill repeats, tempo runs...).
- Keep a log. Write everything down (you will be able to document your progression, and you'll be thrilled to see that you just cut down 10 seconds off your 800s!) and write every day (even off days).
- Enter local races (that will keep you sharp and give you a tangible objective).
- Don't allow yourself an excuse to skip a training run. Decide the day before what you will do, at what time, where, and so on. Write it down.
- Add variety (try a new course, new running buddies...).
- And tell yourself that the benefit you get from this training run that you want to skip because it's too cold, or too hot, or you're tired, will carry over into the big day. I said this before in an earlier post, but last April during the toughest portion of a marathon I was running, I kept reminding myself of all those training runs in difficult conditions (would you believe minus 35 degrees celcius?) that I did, those runs that I almost didn't do because I didn't feel like it... That kept me going - in fact it gave me a boost!
Many training days bring sacrifice, but there are a lot more that bring reward.
Good luck, and tell us how you are doing!
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