Training or Conditioning?

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When you enter a race whether it is a 5k or a marathon inevitably the word “Training” gets used. This word describes the preparation and planning you put in, to get ready for your goal race. This includes a formal schedule increasing your weekly mileage and includes speed work sessions.

When I entered the 10in10 in 2011 the word training was used a lot by many, family, friends, other runners and the staff at Brathay and for some reason it never seemed quite the right word to describe what I had to do to prepare for the 10in10. Over the years I’ve got used to training for 5k, 10k, half marathons and marathons. And in each case it has been a programme of a number of weeks building up long runs and included speed work

For the 10in10 this formal approach of a “Training Schedule” doesn’t seem to be right. OK, I need to train in the sense of run lots of miles but to start with, speed work isn’t required and there is no formal training schedules out there designed for running 10 marathons in 10 days. Entrants have to decide what is right for their own way of running and tackling this huge challenge

Only now after being involved with Brathay and the 10in10 for a few years and whilst out pounding the streets and the trails has eventually the right word come to me that I think actually describes what we have to do to prepare for the 10in10 more precisely than “Training” and that word is “Conditioning”

We need to practice running long distances, preferably marathons on a regular bases and build up to doing this on consecutive days over a long period of time. This goes beyond mere training, we need to “Condition” ourselves to do this and what it takes to keep running when tired and sore to run a marathon a day for 10 days.

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