Thursday, September 22, 2005

Every Run I run is my first !!

Every mile I run is my first. Every hour on the roads a new beginning. Each day as I go out the front door, I am born again. Running does this to me. Seeing things as if for the first time. Discovering again, how to breathe, how to exhale totally, tasting the air … moving over the sidewalk as though, I am a lion or tiger. Running does this to me. To be continued. (The time of day)

Our Endless Autumns

I was recently reading an article entitled, “Endless Autumn”, that Hal Higdon had written in 2004 and was inspired to write further about our Endless Autumns. Since it is now the beginning of October, our summer season is just about over. We are moving into Autumn/Fall, and I got to thinking about what Autumn means to me.

Hal wrote “that as runners, we move through different seasons: from spring to summer, from autumn to winter. In the spring of our lives we are children engaged in what Dr. George Sheehan referred to as "play," running from one game to another. As adults in the greening summers of our lives, we abandon play and focus on completing our educations, breaking free from our parents, obtaining good jobs, enjoying the pleasures money can bring. We settle into relationships and routines that signal the end of summer. But moving into the autumns of our lives, at least some of us revert to childish pursuits and embrace exercise as a means of bringing quality to those lives as well as extending them.”

“In running, Higdon says we seek an endless autumn. And like surfers chasing the sun westward around the world, as portrayed in the 1966 movie, “The Endless Summer”, we hope our journey will never end while knowing that some day it will. As long as we find ourselves capable of taking one running step, we exist in an endless autumn. To move is to live. Now is not yet the time to face winter. Light the fires once more! We have many trails to tread, many races yet to run.”

Yes, I have many trails to tread and races to run. It makes me think about what our running means to us. It is more than training for this race or that marathon. It is about us and our running. It is about those sweet, cool, October nights. Its 10:00pm and I just completed an easy, aerobic 3 miles. It rained all day, and at 9pm, the temperature was around 67. An early breeze at the start and the last mile was run in a rainy mist, that you could see only with the street lights. As Autumn turns into fall, there will be plenty more nights like tonite.

I know that I have many more endless autumns. I don’t know or care how many, I just know that I have more. Right now, I hate that this one is here because before long, it will be gone and we’ll be in the winter season, and a new year. We will long for these autumn fall runs when the wind is cool but not so cold that it hurts. A slight breeze blowing, the leaves falling. I want to go out and run again. I can’t wait.

I am a runner

I am a runner.

Is Tomorrow the first day of the rest of your life

Is Tomorrow the first day of the rest of your life? The answer of course is Yes. But how do you go about regaining it.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Marathon training - just some thoughts

I was reading an article in Runner's World last week about training for a marathon, when it occurred to me that as runners we have to be careful in accepting a how to article with a training schedule on it's face. There are so many variables in our training that to go by a generic schedule and try to adapt it to our training is making a big mistake. We need to remember that we can train only as we feel that day. Because the schedule shows an interval workout today and your body doesn't feel like it, then you should substitute another form of workout. The articles are written for the magazine by elite runners to sell the magazine each month. There is nothing wrong with that, I buy and like to read the magazines too. But remember to vary your training to your body as you need to, to get your workout in each day.

Everyone should keep their own training diary or schedule so they can go back and develop their own marathon training workouts. I know you are thinking, well what to do for your first marathon. Then you can use someone's schedule, but for your first marathon, I wouldn't fool around with anything except long slow runs, to build your endurance. Guess what, it doesn't matter how fast you start out, it matters only that you finish and that takes LSR's.

The question now becomes how many LSR's do you do. My goal is to always be in marathon shape, so during the year, I recommend only 1 a week, anywhere from 10 to 20 miles. I like to do 10 one weekend, 14 the next, 20 the next, then take the next weekend off. Just keep alternating. An easy aerobic 10 miler on a Saturday or Sunday morning should be no problem for a marathoner to handle.

The key word in that sentence is easy. Not race pace, not 80%, but an easy 50-60% of your effort. The rest of your weekly runs can be whatever you feel like doing, but the essential part of the marathon training in my opinion is the easy aerobic 10, 14, & 20 milers. I will do this endurance work at 65 - 75% of effort. The secret here is that as you get better aerobically fit, the faster your pace will automatically become so that in a year, when your pace was 10:30, the next year your pace automatically becomes about 9:15-9:30. Again, these numbers are general, everyone is different. But with aerobic endurance, your pace from year to year will pick up. You will then find your shorter races getting faster and faster. But the key point is the running has to be done from year to year, in order to build your base first.

The Garmin GPS devices that tell you exactly how far you ran and what pace you ran mile 3 at. Who cares. If it is 5.2 or 4.8 miles. It is a five mile run. Right. In a race, I might like to lay back a little and run with a friend for several miles, then boogie off at a faster pace.

Running is play. It should be very enjoyable to get up every morning, stretch a little, go out the door, put in your miler whatever, shower up, eat breakfast and you feel good the rest of the day, waiting for tommorrow, so you can do it all over again. Just like a kid who goes out each day to meet with his/her friends and play ball or someother game that we played as kids. And remember how your mother had to call you in from playing. That's the way we should be with our running. Waiting for that someone to call us home to tell us it is now time to quit playing and come in now. We have to want to get our runs in, that's critical.

Just random thoughts here on my blog. I have got to go out tonite and get my 5 miles in. I happen to enjoy the evening runs just as much or more as the morning runs. That will be the subject of my nexxt blog.

Thanks for reading and let me know what you think. That's how we learn for life, life-long learning.