When I started to write up my training for this autumn’s Chester Marathon I had intended jotting down my notes each week. I hadn’t, however, intended on being quite so busy with various projects. This is good. I feel much better and much more productive when my mind and body are engaged in purposeful activity. Years ago, a colleague of mine would rather flamboyantly stride out of meetings claiming, ‘I can either talk about work, or actually do it.’ I’ve had to take this approach. Life has been very busy and I’ve chosen to run, rather than write about it.
That said, I now have a spare few minutes…
The last 4 and a bit weeks have been very productive. I have run 262 miles. Within this period I’ve completed long runs of 15, 16, 18, 20 miles. I’ve run another 4 speedwork sessions, 4 Bolton parkruns, and a 4.4 mile trail race. The rest of the running has either been recovery runs or steady paced efforts of around 10 miles. I’ve really enjoyed all of it.
The most important thing for me to continue to reflect on as I focus hard on the next few weeks is to be grateful. I started this year simply wanting to get to the end of it without injury. I spent so much time last year limping around the place that I was really questioning what was going wrong. I worried how would I resolve the issue: every single time I got a bit fitter, I’d end up injured. So I’m grateful that I have been able to find a solution: run more.
It’s true, and it’s deserving of separate blog post, the answer was there all along: run more. As I’ve slowly increased my mileage, I’ve got stronger. This strength has made me far more resilient. Truth be told: I didn’t need to find what cross training, strength work and stretching I needed to do to avoid injury. Instead I needed to work out how to run more to become a stronger runner. That’s not to say that cross training and the like can’t be useful. I’ve come to believe that if it is in addition to the maximum that you are capable of running, it can really help. But if it is instead of running, my guess is that it won’t help you to be a stronger runner one bit. I’m nowhere near my maximum running tolerance. And at the moment, I’m nowhere near the limping and shuffling that characterised so much of last year.
(Thanks to Marty at Bolton parkrun for the photo)