Tag Archives: training

Warning: Posts in Blogosphere May Be Rosier than Reality

MirrosI love blogging and even more, I love reading other running blogs. There’s something about reading someone’s first hand account of training, of racing or even of life as a runner that makes the running community feel even more tight knit. Increasingly, however, I find that reading other blogs causes me to compare myself to other runners and not always in a positive manner. For example, with so many people in my speed-clique running Chicago this year (which is the same weekend as Albany), I’ve found myself anxiously comparing workouts and progress. When I have a bad workout or rough run, it’s not many steps to a total running meltdown. Granted, this can happen on in-person teams too (I see it as a coach all the time), but sometimes I suspect the digital component heightens anxiety and comparison because we just have to believe what people are writing.

I went on a big unfollow streak this week after reading one too many disingenuous and borderline dangerous blog entries from a fairly big name blogger. I never should have followed that blog as long as I did; she complains about extreme exhaustion but keeps hammering 10 miles a day, runs through stress fractures and serious injuries and generally sets a horrible example of what it’s like to be a runner. After unfollowing her blog, I started to go through my Reader and remove other blogs that didn’t feel like brothers or sisters of the road. If you truly love running every single day and always have perfect workouts, my assumption is that you are either lying about them or you aren’t actually doing them. Everyone blows workouts once in a while. Everyone has days where they just really don’t want to fucking run.

Laurel has written about this before, as have others. It’s not that most little bloggers like ourselves try to be cheery all the time, it’s just not as fun to write about bad runs or races and no one wants to be the Debbie Downer of the Interwebs. The reality is, however, that running is hard and sometimes not that fun. We still get out there and do it every day, but we’re not exactly skipping down the sidewalk. As I go forward with this blog, one of my goals is to find the balance between inspiration, motivation and reality.

In the spirit of honesty for anyone else who finds themselves playing the comparison game, last week SUCKED for me. My mid-week workout was slow and I felt like I was dragging concrete pins and on my Sunday long run, I only did one section of tempo running when I was scheduled to do two. At 7 weeks out, it was disheartening and terrifying and I cried to Will more than once that I didn’t know if I wanted to step on the start line in October.

Am I alone in this? Anyone else find their perspectives swayed by what they read on blogs?


Recently Read: Mistakes, Proper Arm Form, Faking Confidence and Do I Need a Coach?

This cracked me up this week. I hope this isn't my purpose on the planet.

This cracked me up. I hope this isn’t my purpose on the planet.

In the perennial debate of how should we run, another study concludes that the “best” form is basically whatever you do naturally. This conclusion is one we’re seeing more and more as running becomes extremely mainstream and “form coaches” attempt to make money off the shufflers, the T-rexers and the paddlers. Yes, some form quirks are highly inefficient but we should all aim for small adjustments, not total overhauls.

Pacing matters. We’re all guilty of getting overexcited at the start of a race or chasing someone down a sidewalk on a recovery day. Appropriate pace and correct perception of pace, however, is critical to top performance. One of my big foci this training cycle is to be more attuned to effort; I’m doing this by using my GPS, my own RPE and a heart rate monitor to compare what I feel to what my body is reporting that I feel.

This TED talk really deserves it’s own post but I don’t know enough about the psychology of body language and don’t have time right now to delve into it. That being said, it’s just a beautiful clip with actionable suggestions to help you on the starting line, in the board room or basically anywhere where you need confidence but are likely to lack it. It’s something we’ll be working on as a team this fall and I’m so looking forward to seeing the results.

Finally, although there should be an enormous caveat to vet anyone claiming to be a coach, this article is a good example of how coaching can help athletes of all levels. With the proliferation of free online plans, I’ve also observed a proliferation of injuries from plans that don’t (and couldn’t) accommodate individual needs. Can you complete events without a coach? Absolutely and many do (I did for years). Can you maximize your potential without a coach? I’m not so sure about that.

Week in Review 6.30.14 to 7.6.14

Finally a great week, even with insane temperatures. It was an adaptation week and included a scheduled off day (my favorite combination), so I feel pretty darn good writing this one up.

Gorgeous long weekend for some beach time

Gorgeous long weekend for some beach time

Monday: 7 miles. Sore post move but happy to get out there and run.

Tuesday: Best surprise ever. Decided to go for my tempo run despite 90 degree temps and was pleasantly surprised. 30 minutes at continuous tempo pace. Due to the heat, I just did it on effort and it came out to be 6:51 pace, which isn’t too far off the planned 6:45 pace. Total of 9 miles.

Wednesday: 6 miles easy with Will. Heat starting to get to me, felt really crappy on this. Core after.

Thursday: Scheduled off day. Walked dogs for a while in Centennial Woods.

Friday: Another great workout. 12 by 400 at I pace. Accidentally did 13 apparently. Average pace of 86 which is 5 seconds faster than the last time I did this. Felt better and better as the run went on. 9 miles total. Total body lift and flexibility afterward.

Saturday: 7 miles easy in Shelburne while the boys did their long run.

Sunday: 18.25 hot ones at 2 pm. Weird schedule so had to do this at the heat of the day but psyched to have the first real long run done. Felt fantastic, although finishing up Maple Street sucked.

Maple Street: .9 miles, literally straight up. Humbling every.single.time.

Maple Street: .9 miles, literally straight up. Humbling every.single.time.

Total: 63.2

2 times up Maple Street

2 core sessions

1 full lift

2 successful workouts

Looking forward to the coming week, to getting back up in mileage and to pressing onward towards October! 14 weeks to go.

Week in Review 6.16.14 to 6.22.14 (In which I finished the first year of medical school)

Somehow the first year of medical school is done. It seems like just yesterday that Will and I were riding the bus in suits for the first day and overwhelmed by the enormity of the task ahead. But on Friday, we took our last exam and are now officially M2s. I expected to be thrilled to be done but instead find myself a little overwhelmed. I quipped earlier in the week that medical school is a lot like the marathon; you put an enormous amount of preparation into it and when you cross the finish line, there’s a little bit of a letdown as you lose the thing you’ve been focusing on for so long.

Regardless, we made it and I even manage to run quite a bit for a finals week.

Monday: Decided to be a grownup and aquajog for 75 minutes. Felt good and foot seems to be much happier.

Tuesday: 9.8 miles easy through the Fairgrounds.

Wednesday: 9.6 miles easy in Intervale and Ethan Allen Homestead.

Thursday: Planned off day. 8.6 prorated.

Friday: 9.4 miles with Will as our post-exam celebration. We’re weird.

Sunset on Friday night when I actually had time to go sailing post-exam!

Sunset on Friday night when I actually had time to go sailing post-exam!

Saturday: Unplanned off day. Just totally overwhelmed from the last week of school.

Sunday: 16 miles. Took it easy in the heat of the day but the foot feels good and my legs feel great.

It was a seriously warm long run; required some cold water sitting to bring my core temp down.

It was a seriously warm long run; required some cold water sitting to bring my core temp down.

Total: 62 miles

A little low on miles but my average daily miles were good. Looking forward to next week when I have time to do a morning and afternoon run plus all the extras. Bring on 8 weeks of living like a pro!