27 days away until the first part of the LA/SF Challenge when runners toe the line at the ASICS LA Marathon on Sunday March 17. If you have been training for the first part of the challenge the high mileage weeks and long runs are starting to come together. For the San Francisco Marathon 2013 Ambassadors that are running in the LA Marathon the weekend long run and the weekly total mileage has really started to increase. Many of us are hitting our 18-22 mile weekend long runs and really upping the mileage during the week.

As the high mileage weeks and long runs start to happen runners begin to realize that training for a marathon becomes a part time job, or at least equivalent to in regards to the amount of time spent training for the 26.2 mile event. During the heavy training time, runners will begin to make many sacrifices, but while making these sacrifices it is important to keep balanced. In this case, the balance I am talking about is the enjoyment of running. There are days where we will say enough of this. Even moments where we begin to doubt our goals. With all of this we cannot forget why is it that we are deciding to train for and run a 26.2-mile race. For me, like many other runners it isn’t about winning the race, it is because we have fun doing it.

While we get into marathon training mode and start to put together our specific goals or start getting our “game face” on, we need to have moments of easy and relaxed. I think running on hard all the time creates for burnout and takes away from the experience of why we started this whole running thing in the beginning.

Over this last week I have found that point of balance of finding relaxed and social running time, while still fitting in marathon specific running and getting my GMP (goal marathon pace) runs in.  I think during the marathon training cycle it goes a long way to keep the social aspect of running in tact to keep our balance as runners. Just yesterday, I was invited to run with a group of runners, whom I have never ran with on a trail that I previously have only run once. When I got the invite, I was fortunate enough that it landed on my easy training day, so without a second of hesitation I jumped in and joined them. The group was made up of runners of different abilities; nonetheless the group had a blast hitting the trails.

Will you be joining the San Francisco Marathon 2013 Ambassadors at the ASICS LA Marathon? What do you do to keep your balance during marathon training to prevent burnout?