Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spinning Out!


With my long runs coming on Sunday, Tuesdays have been my Interval run day.  This week, however, it's not.  Neither will Wednesday and maybe not Thursday.  Next weekend's long run has me a little freaked out.  20 miles.  That's like running seven 5k races back to back to back to back to ... (well, you get the picture).

Since I come from a back ground of hating running and still haven't quite hit a year of being a runner, I've never really looked at race preparation as, "Getting ready to run xxx miles/kilometers."  Of course I need to be able to actually run and I therefore should ensure that I practice it enough that I get good at it, but running is a very specific motion and excludes a slew of muscle groups.  I truly believe that me being a better overall athlete will result in better performance that literally pounding out miles on treadmills for weeks on end.

I can't race if I'm not physically healthy and I can't train if I'm not physically healthy.  My success in this endeavor is going to come from confidence that I know I'm in better physical shape than many (I won't say most because it's possible that at least half of the field will out-pace me in the race) of those who will be running down the streets of Burlington with me.  Confidence comes from continued success and positive reinforcement.  

This week's 20 miler (the first of many in my plan) is a potential tipping point, a critical-path milestone in this plan.  I still have concerns about my body's ability to survive the training plan and the relatively rapid increase in mileage.  I don't like being told I can't do something, so hearing/reading the conventional wisdom that you should be running regularly for a minimum of 1-2 before STARTING a marathon training plan wasn't a deterrent, it was a challenge.  

But hearing/seeing that also introduces doubt.  The people making those statements know what they're talking about.  I know that my body is still adjusting to the notion of running at all, even more so adjusting to running long distances.  I'd run up to 14 miles for my half marathon training and bumping up to 15 and 17 in the past few weeks wasn't as intimidating since it was still in the teens, but the big two-oh is up now and it literally feels like a potential make-or-break run (I know it isn't but it still feels that way).

As a result, I made the decision to give my legs a bit of a break, give my feet & ankles some time to mend themselves, and focus on conditioning work for at least one of the "run" workouts this week and probably both.  This Tuesday, I swapped out my Interval run for the Spinning class I go to almost every week when I'm not in race-training mode.  I still try to get to spin class at least a few times a month while training because it's great cross training, but it just doesn't always fit with the run schedule.  So I did my Interval workout on the bike this week and will likely fabricate a workout for Thursday that has some running, but isn't to "plan."

Above all, listen to your body and make sure you know it well enough to know what it's saying.  I went with my gut on this one, knowing that the consequences of ignoring it and being wrong were far worse that if I did back it down for a week if I really didn't need to.

No comments:

Post a Comment