Conservative Approach

>> Monday, May 14, 2012

It seems the only area in my life where I'm conservative is with my running. Well, and I guess now with my new job I'm also conservative with our money. Like whoa. But that's another story entirely. Today I'm writing about running . . .


My careful, conservative approach to running is where Stephen and I differ with our training and participation in the sport. Here's what I'm talking about:
  • I modify training plans to ensure I get more than adequate rest between challenging workouts. (I used to run 6 days a week. These days it's closer to 4.)
  • At the very first sign of pain/injury, I take immediately time off. (It wasn't always that way, I'd often see how long and how far I could go on an achy knee or tight hamstring.)
  • During my pregnancy, I took things easy -- laying off speed and mileage as my body told me to. (Toward the end, I was still running, but could probably walk that fast today!)

As I've written, I haven't always been this way. But as I've matured into a (very) late-20s runner, I feel less urge to stress my body to the max. With time, my preservationist ways have paid off. I am still in relatively great shape, but rarely feel sore. I'm still participating in races and getting closer to my pre-pregnancy paces, but without aggravating my old IT-band injury or having new pains crop up.

What am I getting at? I don't really know. I just completed my most recent week off from running after the half marathon. Another conservative thing I do is take a week off after particularly hard races. Or training cycles. It refreshes my legs and my mind. After this specific week off, however, I'm feeling something different.

New motivation. Like I've gotten a little TOO comfortable with being, well, comfortable. And I think I have finally decided on a few short-term goals to keep my training fresh.
  • I'd like to run 5 days a week again. I've been letting my training come last. Of course, with everything going on in my life right now, it's not the most important thing on my mind. But I feel the desire to get serious about sticking to the plan.
  • I'd like to, as I've written several times these last couple weeks, focus on speed. I traditionally take an unstructured approach to speedwork. For this training cycle, I'd like to do things by the book. With Stephen's help.
  • I'd like to start walking. Now that I'm home more and more, I haven't had as much general activity in my day. I think it contributes to skipping workouts, which might seem counter-intuitive, but the whole "a body in motion stays in motion" thing is really true.
  • I'd like to do a race by myself. Not that Stephen and I ever run together. But to be honest, it's sometimes difficult coming in 1,345th when your husband always finishes in the top 10 . . . and usually the top 5. Not that I need attention, but I'd like one race to be all about me.
  • I'd like to find a training partner -- even for a once-weekly run. This one is tough because I never feel like I know what pace I run. Or I don't want to feel pressure to keep up with someone. But I think it'd be good for me to join some group runs or just find a buddy to train with occasionally. It's something I've never really done.
I guess this is a much more personal journaling post than I originally thought. A mind-dump. No tips or tricks for you. But I will be focusing on speedwork and sharing with you Stephen's suggestions and help as I make my way through this training plan -- likely exchanging one running day for some cross-training.

Run 1 is complete. 3.2 easy miles. Through the rain and in the dark, but complete.

What are your current running goals? Is there anything specific you'd like us to post about? Summer is coming up, which means Stephen will be home from work and able to answer your training questions. Just leave a comment or email us at neverhomemaker [at] gmail [dot] com.


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