Sunday, May 31, 2009
The Art of Training 5/31/09
"The will to win means nothing without the will to prepare."
-Juma Ikangaa, New York City Marathon winner
Last year, around this time, I was training for a 10k, but I was about 15 pounds lighter (eeek!) and had been running 20-25 miles a week, every week, for about 8 months. Things are much different this year.
But that's ok. I keep telling myself-"it's ok, really, it's ok..."
Even though I keep telling myself it's ok, I don't quite believe it. Last year, I ran five races (had planned six), but over trained and found myself fatigued and getting sick at the drop of a hat. What was worse, as I became better from my colds, I would rush back into training, try to make up for lost time and wind up in the same situation. Thus began a cycle that continued on into February until I figured out that I needed to do something different. In March, I signed up for personal training at my gym and basically took it one week at a time. Some of those weeks I only had time for my one training session, but I kept going thinking that the next week, I'll start running, or the next, or the next... Eventually I started running again, and fit it in when I could.
It's now the end of May, and I went running today. I am running about 10 miles per week (5 miles at a time). I keep wanting to add that third session per week, but my schedule has been loopy. I hope to add that third session this week. It's amazing how my body has to regain the stamina I used to have, but I'm even more amazed at how quickly I went from running 3 miles to 5 miles. I'm hoping next week I can get to 6.
So I have been debating whether or not to sign up for the local 10k. I ran it last year and placed in the top 20 of my age group (I was #19) and thought I had done pretty well for my first 10k. I knew I'd be running slower this year and there's a little scared voice in me that keeps telling me not to run the race, to just keep training and forget about racing for the time being until I get back into my original racing form. I asked Nate, my personal trainer and running guru, what I should do.
"Can you run four and half miles right now if I asked you to?" he asked.
"Yeah," I said expecting him to tell me to sign up for the 5k.
"Then sign up for the 10k."
I was afraid he would say that.
He went on to tell me that I should set three goals for myself (for instance-placing somewhere in my age group, running a bit faster than my current pace, etc), so even though I wouldn't be running like I did last year, I could accomplish at least one of those goals rather than fixating on how I would never be able to match the results of last year.
Suddenly I felt lighter. I was overburdening myself with expectations that I couldn't meet yet at my current fitness level, and when I would fail, I would start the quitter talk.
It's a good thing Nate's lessons (that I paid for in advance) are so expensive, or I might have given up sooner.
So, even if it's at a turtle's pace, I'm back in training.