Embrace the Grind


By: Brian Elder

One of our upcoming podcast guests, Eric Heintz, made a statement that has stuck with me through the first week of marathon training: “running is a grind.” There are days when you don’t want to run, but you know you need to get in the miles. Days when you can’t find anyone to run with and you are forced to go alone. Running can become stale and lose its appeal. Countless things can make running difficult whether you are training for a race or simply looking to lose weight and stay in shape. Anyone who says the grind is easy is mistaken and hasn’t experienced it for themselves. Entering my first week of marathon training I experienced the grind.

Day One: It was one of the days where you try to gain momentum and expect to feel better as you run further, but it never happened. I felt terrible and I ended up running 2 miles shorter than I intended stopping multiple times along the way.

Day Two and Three: A little better. I had 2 days where I put in the miles that I needed to reach my weekly mileage total goal.

Day Four: Scheduled rest day from running with a strength session. I discovered it had been a while since I had worked out my legs and I knew when I was done that I would be sore for a couple days.

Day Five: A scheduled out of town trip with friends and rain made it impossible to get in a run.

Day Six: Rain. Hard rain for a second straight day. This took away from the scheduled speed or tempo session so I resorted to cross training on the bike indoors.

Day Seven: Overcast skies with a likely chance of rain. 9 mile long run at marathon pace and still sore from Thursday.

I did not expect to experience the grind in week one of marathon training. The grind usually comes after a few weeks when life gets hectic and schedules busier, but that is what I experienced. The grind is real but even when you have a week of training that does not go as planned, there is nothing productive that can come from beating yourself up over it. There is time to improve and to keep working harder. It’s hard, it’s difficult, but ultimately it is worth it. So get out, get running, and embrace the grind!

Brian Elder is a learner, traveler, nomadic runner, and run coach that is going to run until it takes him somewhere remarkable. He is a senior at the University of Georgia studying English and Religion. After running competitively on trails and roads, he fuels through an appetite so big you would swear it’s competitive. Follow Brian's training on Instagram.