Mo Featured in canfitpro Magazine

Mighty MO! Lessons Learned From the Walt Disney Marathon

MO’tivated to RUN a Marathon

Although my goal was simply to run a marathon in celebration of my 50th birthday, I achieved much more than crossing the finish line in pursuit of a Mickey Mouse medal at the 1n on January 8, 2012. I learned more about myself than I had in a very long time, I changed some habits and I got healthier in the process, not to mention keeping my marathon once every decade dream alive for another ten years.

This is my story about my running in a marathon. Perhaps it will motivate some of you to strive to do something outside your comfort zone this year. Perhaps you too will decide to train and run a marathon, or you might decide to train in a new area of fitness and learn to teach a new fitness class or personal training program. It’s not really about what you achieve, but the act of striving to achieve something that is important. It begins with a dream, but to fulfill that dream you must act and that requires vision, a goal, daily effort, and focus.

As soon as I made the commitment in early October to run the marathon, my vision and focus on my personal fitness became laser sharp. Although I like to run, I wasn’t running much more than a 5km and occasional 10km due to a chronic hip and back injury. That, however, was about to change because I was motivated to get out side my comfort zone. My focus sharpened and I began looking at the small things that I could change (but wasn’t as disciplined at changing up till now); that would make a big difference in my training and recovery. I was also committed to follow a structured running schedule without excuses.

As it was necessary to keep it relatively simple, I decided to follow the Walt Disney World Marathon training program. This program had already been proven to earn those who follow it their Mickey Mouse Marathon medal and as I wanted that medal, I followed the program faithfully. The program consists of three weekly training days consisting of two short runs during the week and a longer run on alternating weekends with the ‘Magic Mile’ on the regular weekends. Unlike my marathon runs in the past where I didn’t necessarily follow a structured program, following a structured running schedule allowed time to train appropriately and with enough recovery time between runs.

There are many training programs out there that you can follow based on your running experience and race goal. Running—the Complete Guide to Building Your Running Program by John Stanton and Marathon Training—The Proven 100-Day Program for Success by Joe Henderson are two of my favourite running resources each for their own unique reasons.

Five things I learned while training for and running my marathon

1. The importance of being consistent with training in order to build a fitter, stronger body in the recommended time in a safe and successful manner. This was something that I did not do consist