Sunday, 6 May 2012

The need for speed

Straight off the high of my race the training week started well. I took Monday easy with walks, wheat bags and compression pants and then kicked off normal training on Tuesday. I got in 4 great sessions this week - a tempo run, an easy run, speed work and a long run (which wasn't actually long just long run pace). I am still one run short from my plan though. . .

This weekend I had an interval session planned and I decided to do it this morning. Last night I laid out my clothes ready and planned to go straight after Little As morning feed. Unfortunately getting into my running gear is as close to a run as I have got today. I am not defeated yet though. . . I am still hoping to get the session out on the treadmill after the Little guy goes to bed. Not the nice outdoor run I was looking forward to but it will be better than nothing. And if that doesn't happen then this will just be my first (and not the last) planned run that has fallen casualty to the responsibilities of being a mummy.

Anyhow back to this weeks training. I think all my speed work is starting to pay off and I am starting to feel faster and stronger every day! I have to confess though that prior to this week I was getting disheartened by my speeds. My warm up, cool down and easy pace was a lot slower than I liked and it was hurting my pride to have dropped the pace so much. Also I was worried that my body would start adapting to this slower pace.

The truth is these slower speeds are where I am at. If I did increase my warm up pace I think I would compromise the actual training segment of the session so I hold back. I have to train where my fitness is at NOW not where I want it to be and not where it use to be. It sucks at times but every session this week has seen an improvement in one aspect or another and yes I am slowly increasing pace.

As a PT I would often hear new clients come in and tell stories of what they use to do. A lot were disappointed when they magically weren't back there doing those things in a matter of a few sessions. I found it amazing that people held on to the past and couldn't just enjoy their present journey and celebrate their current sucesses. I have been one of those people this last month.

So why does a number on a screen make me feel inadequate.... Its crazy and its a bit of de ja vu. When I fell pregnant I finally stopped caring about the number on the scale and just listened to my body. I was a skeptic at first. I didn't trust in my bodys ability to judge what it did and didn't need. I thought this lax approach would have me the size of a house in no time. I was pleasantly surprised that this wasn't the case and even more happy to discover I could continue this approach post baby with the same result.

So how does that all relate to my running pace. Well again I find myself letting a number dictate how I feel about myself. Considering the purpose of easy running is to turn over the body at a pace that is gentle on the body then it seems insane that there would be a set speed for these runs.

So my challenge now is to ignore the numbers on the treadmill and garmin for my warm ups, cool downs and easy runs and find a pace where my body FEELS like it is doing what it should be...gently preparing for a session or gently recovering from one. Some days this might see me running at 10kmp/h and some days at 8kmp/h. With all the speed work that I am doing there are plenty of opportunities to focus on numbers and times.

I will admit I am a little scared that going by feel will have me running even slower but I am going to give it a shot. Hopefully by being in tune with my body I will prepare and recover better so I can perform better in my speed sessions and eventually get faster. Nearly 12 months ago I trusted my body to decide what it did and didn't need in regards to food and embarked on complete and utter unrestricted eating. As scary as it was as I had always had "rules" when it came to eating, it has paid off and I am now just enjoying my food each and every day. So now I am going to entrust my body with my all important running training. Who knows maybe my body will get it right again and i'll be making new PBs before I know it?!?!

Finally here's a quote that was quite fitting when I was having my pity party. . .

"No matter how slow you go you are still lapping everyone on the couch"

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