Monday, February 10, 2014

What?!.. Oh.

This was basically my reaction as I punched in the numbers on my calculator while penciling in my training for the next few weeks (with an emphasis on 'penciling'. Thank you, Brad Hudson!).To many of you's enjoyment or chagrin, my blog is tending to reflect the steps on my journey to becoming a smarter runner.

And let's face it, I want to start getting faster. Smart and fast is quite the combination says 98% of all runners out there (ok I totally made that up, but whatever!). And guess what? Reaching your potential safely is a pretty long process, so reader or future posts, consider yourself warned!

In all seriousness, I will say that although I type these words for me and helping me keep me accountable to this process, I do hope that some of you may occasionally find something useful in my rambling keystrokes.

The idea for today's post comes from just one little text message between me and Rebecca B. yesterday regarding the balance of increasing volume in training. Both of us were in agreement that in order to reduce the risk of 'bad things' happening, you must increase one element at a time. So pick your poison: speed or distance-but not both (at least for us amateurs who's recovery involves your feet up at a coffee shop before going to your full-time job and get no naps). Depending on what you're training for, there are planned exceptions, but as a rule of thumb, I am a firm believer in the above statement.

Onto this workout I was planning yesterday...I have just done a handful of short track workouts this past cycle-more for my mind than for my legs; convincing me again that I can run the oval just like everyone else. And run it well. Sooo...I am currently comfortably holding 40-45 MPW right now, but am wanting to work on speed for Spring racing season. My first thought: oh! I can jump up to 50-55 and do more track-it will be fun! Ha! That could work, but being an athlete who just was finally able to complete ONE full training cycle, the logical side of my brain decided otherwise.

Hence the calculator. "That's all I get this week?!" yelped my consciousness. Thank goodness the positive voice in my head told me that it would be great fun (if by fun you mean safety) to increase my fast workouts by 10% just like my weekly mileage for the next 4-6 weeks. It's safe, the 10% rule holds water with me, and I get to re-learn how to run faster again, even if it is on a more conservative timetable. Aerobic base: check. Long runs: check. Overall health: good. Oh, the magic of logic!

But now for the small ding in my ego (or the softer term: 'ambition'): After punching in my biggest track workout to date, reality hit. 10% of an already small amount of speed training is not a heck of a lot. Dang, there goes my "kick a', take names right now" plan. Logical side says: "yes, this is worth it", and even my ambitious side known for visualizing me running through finish chutes on easy runs on a regular basis was cornered into submission. Just adding another quarter mile to this week's speed volume was acceptable. The best products take longer to produce. And I want to in a few cycles roll out a totally new model runner.

So thank you, Rebecca, for putting your iPhone index finger on what I was thinking about!

Success takes commitment, even if it is not always flashy. Time to grind!

Stay the course. For real!


L.A. Runner said...

Safe Runner= Happy Runner= Successful Runner. It's hard to not get carried away, especially when we smell signs of success. It's like we get greedy. The thing is, the reward is much greater (and usually sooner) if we don't unintentionally sabotage ourselves with our own stupidity. YOU are one smart cookie!

Jill said...

I always get something out of your blog post (even if I read it 2 days after it's been posted :)); so keep writing, girl!

I think I've hit an age where things just need to come more naturally to me and if I dangle out there a number I need to reach, it becomes too stressful. But in the past, I've just had to be smart adding in the mileage and the speed then came. I know you can do it, cuz that's what you're good at. It's going to be a great year for you - stay smart! :)