Saturday, March 03, 2007

Knowledge is Power

I won't repeat all the stuff from my running blog, but suffice it to say that marathon training this year is going pretty well. Of course, there's still time for me to mess it up or get injured, but I'm feeling a lot stronger and fitter than I did a similar period of time before Berlin.

The interesting thing is that while last year I studied training plans to find the one that would work best for me and then stuck to it as closely as I could, this year I'm sort of making it up as I go along, but it's still working fantastically. I go to running club twice a week and do whatever run they're planning. If it's not the distance or speed I'd have chosen (ie they're making us do the 3 mile time trial) I just do the run anyway, and don't get worked up about it. I do my treadmill speed session, and I mix up long runs and races at the weekend. It all works out pretty nicely, and two half marathon PBs so far this year don't lie (plus some unofficial 10 mile PBs - on both of the halves I've passed the 10 mile point well within my PB, but haven't actually raced a 10 miler to "validate" it).

This year I'm very much going on working out for myself where my weaknesses are and trying to fix them as best I can with a session that fulfils a purpose. Last year if the schedule said 8 miles, I would do 8 miles. Regardless of whether a shorter faster session would actually have worked better for me, I did the run it said. And I would do 8 miles even if I had to walk parts of it, when maybe a shorter route that I could run all of on the day would have been a better option for me psychologically, to stop those "I can't do this" feelings from creeping into my brain.

It only occurred to me the other day that I shouldn't be surprised about this. After all, I've always believed that the only eating plan that is going to work for a person is the one they make up for themselves. It might be based to a greater or lesser extent on a commercial plan, but until you start to learn about the effect that different foods have on you, and you work out which departures from the plan* work for you without throwing you completely off track, it's always going to be hard to stick to in the long term. Different people have different triggers, different weaknesses, and there is no one size fits all solution to anything, eating, running, other exercise.

So I'll stick with my loose and changeable plan, and this year I won't arrange my whole diary around the words of someone in America transmitted via the internet who thinks that today I should be doing a certain run. I know what my goals are, and I know which runs I can use to help me achieve them, so I'm going to trust myself to work it out and stick to it properly.

*Speaking of departures from the plan, I've got some red wine in front of me. However, I didn't buy it (or not recently) so it doesn't count...


Blogger kathrynoh said...

I think you definitely need to be flexible. The weather here has been so humid that trying to stick to any kind of plan is impossible.

10:24 PM  
Blogger JustJunebug said...

i think the best thing we can do is run as our bodies tell us to do...yes getting the longer runs in are very important but you are so far ahead of the game already!

keep it up!

12:08 AM  

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