Monday, September 3, 2012

Run Smart, Run Long...

Do you want to run for a long time? I'm not talking about doing an ultra race (those people are crazy...haha)...I'm talking about running for the rest of your life. In order to do that you have to run smart and learn from your mistakes and realize it's okay to make a change.

I like to think of myself as a seasoned runner and in many ways I think I am but then something happens to knock me off my pedestal. You see, I've been pretty stubborn my whole life and if you knew my mama, you'd know the apple didn't fall far from the tree. Anyway, that stubbornness has helped me in more ways than just running, and, yes, it's also gotten me into quite a bit of trouble-even as a "mature" adult. Being stubborn, I will push through injuries until the last minute and then let them heal, run those "junk" miles to hit my weekly goal, etc.  But then my body rebels and reminds me that although I am in the best shape I've ever been in, I am almost 42 years old and can't quite do what I could were I in my 20's.

I will make an assumption now that most runners are like myself and set pretty lofty goals, realizing they may not ever reach some of them. We don't always share these goals with others but they are there nonetheless.
Did you know that you CAN actually run too much? I didn't think I would ever say that but recently, I realized you can actually run too much and then, guess what, your training will begin to falter and you may not even realize why until it's almost too late. Don't get me wrong, I love running as much as ever (I can talk about it all day if you want to) but it is important for you to sit back and take stock every now and then to see if you need to make a change. My body made me sit back and take stock and I realized that over the past month I have been running too many times a day, not having a true rest day when needed, and when I finally realized that, I made some adjustments. One of those adjustments was hard to say goodbye to but necessary for my personal training not to suffer any longer. The difference in my training mileage over the past month was a deficit of 10-15 miles per week. I couldn't believe I had gotten that far behind. My August mileage was the lowest I can remember in at least 1.5 years. Not good...Yep, I cried when I saw the numbers...that's how important it is to me. Nope, some of you don't understand me, it's okay, just keep reading.

So, maybe it is time for you to sit back and think about your own training. Some things to think about-I put my answers for you to see: 
  1. are you tired even after a good night's sleep? Yes
  2. has your nutrition been lacking? Yes, I've gained about 5-7 pounds this summer
  3. are you able to complete your scheduled runs or do you have to cut them short because of fatigue? I've had to cut some short
  4. do you have some aches and pains that weren't there before?Yes
Okay, pity party over! Marathon training begins October 1! Until then I will be building my base to 45-50 miles per week.

Run Smart! Run Long! Thanks for reading!!