Tuesday, November 12

Houston Marathon: Week 5

Week 5 Primary Focus:           Strength & Endurance, Checkpoint
Longest Run To-Date:             9.3mi

The primary focus remained the same this week as I continued to do workouts that are making me stronger, as well as increasing my endurance. As a reminder, it's this phase of training that's providing me the foundation to run 26.2mi. Think about it this way: theoretically, once this 'stage' of training is complete, and assuming I'm recovered and rested, I'd be able to go out and run a marathon. Notice, however, that I didn't specify how fast. It's later in the training that the primary focus will shift from strength/endurance to more speed and pacing.

A run is a run is a run

When I first started taking endurance sports seriously I had a habit of getting way too pumped up about successful workouts. Conversely, I'd get way too down on myself when my workout wasn't to up to par. I can vividly remember finishing some runs throughout my training for the 2011 Chicago Marathon and thinking: "I'm ready! I'm going to rock this!" And on the flip side I can remember almost panicking after finishing a training run because of how poorly it went. In other words, my high's were too high and my low's were too low. 

Those dramatic swings in emotions from workout to workout can take a mental toll and expedite burnout. It creates unnecessary anxiety throughout training which is nothing more than an energy drain. I remember a few years ago I did a training run that was awful. I felt lethargic, my legs were heavy, my pace was slow and it was overall just a bad run. Afterwards, I analyzed the heck out of it and felt extremely depressed about my progress (or lack thereof). I sent a long write-up to my coach at the time who simply responded with: "Sometimes, Brian, a run is a run is a run. We got the completion. Let's move on."

It's taken me a while to to truly 'get it', but now that I do, it's helped the mental aspect of my training, and by extension the physical aspect has also yielded benefits. In training, a lot of times you have to realize that a run is a run. Don't get too elated after a good workout, because a bad one is likely to follow. And don't get too put out by a crummy workout, because you'll nail one around the corner. I'm not saying don't celebrate the wins throughout your training, but what I am saying is that keeping an even keel is critical.

November 3, 2013: Yasso 800s (#2)

Back in Part II: Baseline, I described Yasso 800s as a training mechanism and a way to measure progress. As a reminder, the goal is to complete 10 sets (or 800s). Back at the end of September I completed three. On November 3rd of this week I completed five. Nothing to jump for joy about, nor to get worried about. It's progress, but I've still got work to do. After all, a run is a run is a run.

Back to the Houston Marathon home page.

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