Look to the left of your screen. Ok. You may notice I have the Toronto Yonge Street 10k coming up…again. It’s in 15 days to be precise. Have I trained enough? Sadly, no. I can make the excuse that this year’s harsh winter didn’t allow me to do many runs outdoors. But excuses are for the weak. I should’ve been at the gym training indoors as much as I could – just as I did last year (shame on you missy). At any rate, there’s no time for condemnation; at this point, I’m just calculating how many burpies I’ll need to do to strengthen my legs and core in record breaking time :(
I suddenly remembered a post I wrote last year around this time about training for this same race: “32 days, 13 hours, 59 mins!” I thought I would repost it as a reminder to both you and I of the importance of training. Whether the feat be physical or spiritual, nothing spells V-i-c-t-o-r-y like preparation.
32 days, 13 hours, 59 mins!
“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:8
The countdown is officially on. I checked the TYS10k website and race day is coming up; 32 days, 13 hours, 59 mins! (I feel like I’m about to break into the theme song for the movie Rent, “Seasons of Love”) What does this mean for me? I have to get s-e-r-i-o-u-s about my training. I mean, I’ve been training but serious is not the adjective I’d use to describe it. So it’s longer runs, more weight training, less sweets, more fruits (oh sweet treats how I’ll miss you).
It’s easy to set the pace for race training because you know the day, the hour down to the minute when it’s your turn to shine. You know the absolute last day to slack off and when to get it together. But do we realize that this Christian walk is actually a Christian race? Not a sprint (thankfully), but a marathon. What are the major features of marathon training?
- Stay motivated – mental preparation is key
- Be goal oriented – set a routine for training and stick with it
- Train consistently, gradually increasing distance
- Buy and wear the right gear (too hot, too cold, too wet won’t work)
- Eat right – stay away from foods that will stall training success
- Take necessary rest/recovery days
- Be prepared for obstacles – like injuries etc
- Believe that you can do it and you will!
How does physical race training match up to spiritual race training? Like this:
- Stay motivated – mental preparation: “And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth.” -Colossians 3:2
- Be goal oriented – set a routine for training: “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” -2 Timothy 2:15
- Train consistently, gradually increasing distance: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” -Joshua 1:8
- Buy and wear the right gear: “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.” -Ephesians 6:11-13
- Eat right – stay away from foods that will stall training success: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.” -James 4:7
- Be prepared for obstacles – like injuries etc: “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33
- Take necessary rest/recovery days: “Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30
- Believe that you can do it!: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” -Phil 4:13
Just because the race counter of life is not displayed, it doesn’t mean we should lack diligence in our training – ever. Our adversary knows who’s trained or who’s not and you don’t want him to find you on the trail unprepared: “One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you? Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.” Acts 19:15-16 (yikes!)
And let’s not forget Paul’s encouragement to us; our race is not just for our own preparation, but to preserve our witness for Christ: “…since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” Hebrews 12:1
I’m looking to avoid a beat down at both the TYS10k and in the spirit realm. So off to training I go…I want to be ready!