One of the great things about having a coach helping me with this is that he has been not only helping with how long, and hard to train on a given day, but also how to run a race. I know... sounds pretty basic doesn't it, but not so fast!
You would think that you should just go out and run all out for the allotted miles and be done with it. Not really the case though for the longer distances. In a longer race the trick is to pace yourself so that you can achieve your goal but also so that you will have something left in the last few miles to really pick it up and beat that goal by a lot. In road bicycle racing all you do is hang with the pack until the end when you try to beat out the other guys. Or, if you are strong enough, you can try to break away on your own. In running if you are not one of the top guys/gals you then have only the goals you set for yourself to beat. Thats the cool thing about all of this for me. Its the challenge of setting time goals for myself, of having to run slower so that my body can get the needed rest on a day when I feel strong , of pushing myself out the door on the cold mornings at 5am for that 8 miles before work when my wife is all warm and snuggly in bed, and of pushing hard up that hill on mile 14 when my body screams for me to stop. All of this adds up to the development of more discipline. Truly doing what it takes to reach a desired outcome. I Love it! ... and thanks Jack!