You’ve chosen the crime. Now do the time.
That could be the whole post because that is the gist of it. If you want to succeed, you MUST do the work. However, there are some things to keep in mind.
First, do not panic if you have a setback. Like I said in my post about planning, life happens. Things will come up that can cause you to miss a workout or two. Things will come up that may derail your training for months. There is nothing you can do about that. Don’t panic. Adjust your plan. Rethink you goal.
Most of the challenges I have done required a lot of obnoxious training. There were many times when I buried myself with layers and layers of fatigue and it was hard to crawl out of the pit I had dug. And I was literally crawling at times. Learning to listen to your body and the signals it gives you will be crucial. You must be able to decipher hurt from injured, sore from strained, fatigued from over-trained. Often it is a fine line between each of those conditions. And being on the wrong side of the line can be the difference between success and mind numbing, soul crushing failure.
Try to keep things in perspective. Your amount of training should be relative to the goal you have set for yourself. If you want to set a PR in a 5K run, weekly 20 milers probably will not get you there. When I trained for my 100 mile run attempt, my longest run was only 40 miles. Of course, I DNF’d at 60 miles, so ignore that example. Actually, my legs and body felt good but my feet were gone.
Keep everyone updated on your training via a blog, email, Facebook, etc so you can get advice and motivation when needed. I have always believed in the concept of “shared pain.” If you are training with some one, then you know they are hurting as well and the pain is lessened. The same applies to talking about it. Friends and acquaintances who have gone through it before can relate to your struggles so it makes the suffering a bit more palatable. Plus, they may have some good advice to lessen your pain.
No matter what, just press on. For ultrarunning, it is called Relentless Forward Progress. There is actually a book written about it. The bottom line is to just keep moving forward one step at a time until you realize your goal. This will not happen overnight. So ignore all the “Lose 50 pounds in one week on the Ex-Lax diet” or “Run a marathon and have abs of steel working out 20 minutes a week” infomercials.
DO. THE. WORK.