Alright, alright. I know I talk a lot about running and that probably appears all that I do. Well you wouldn’t be too far off. That’s the problem with taking on a big training schedule. It’s what you do, eat, drink, sleep. Ironman athletes do this for 8 months or so. They don’t regret it, of course, but damn! I’m good with a 12 week training program.
Anywho, this Sunday will mark 6 weeks until Portland Marathon. That also means we will be 50% done with our training. As I was laying out on the bed earlier, exhausted and just showered, I realized that this training isn’t as hard as it was the first time around. I’m not absolutely dreading the long distances and I feel stronger (still hate waking up bloody early though). Last time, however, I was doing this on my own.
Running alone can be boring. I’ll admit it. I don’t mind being alone in races. I find people to talk to. Training is very boring and mind numbing when alone, however. Last time, I was pretty scared of the 20 miler training run. I was having enough trouble with 16 & 18. I enlisted my super strong friend to run 10 miles with me last time. Training with my sister however, has made training go a lot better and not as boring. Plus, over the last couple of years of us both moving out, we’ve drifted apart. Running together gives us a 4-5 hr sister session. We catch up on everything and then some.
Towards the end of my training, though. I hated running. I was totally and utterly burnt out. My friend was concerned for me because I was just tired. It wasn’t fun. This time, however, I don’t feel that way. I think it helps that I’m not doing pure junk miles this time. Junk miles are runs that I’m sure most casual runners do. There’s no purpose to them. Purpose like speed (ie. intervals), cardio building (ie. hills or stairs) and other workouts. Granted, I’ll find every excuse I can to get out of intervals, but I have been pretty persistent on getting my hills and stairs workouts in. Oh! And my bike!! I love my bike! I try to ride it once a week at least. Soommmme times use it as an excuse to not do intervals (*whistles*). Granted, I’m not the world’s best runner. I’ve done junk miles. I still do them. Some days, I just want a mind numbing run. Sometimes, I just want to see if my special training is helping any with just running.
My point is that I think runners should figure out ways to mix in different kinds of training into their weekly workouts. I do believe this will make them stronger and not burn out. I enjoy running hills (still hate them in long distance runs), but I’ve come to respect them. Remember to mix up the workouts too. Like do different hill workouts. I skip up the hills one week and sprint up them the next week. Your body gets confused and won’t get used to it and you won’t plateau.
Anywho, just do something different. You’ll get stronger and your body will thank you for it.