Gaining Speed Through Going Slow

It is something I have observed many times in my own running: when I get to 40 miles per week things change. It takes more to make me fatigued. I feel faster and stronger. I perform better in workouts and races.

In fact, this past November when I was training for a half marathon I wrote about my ideas on magic mileage.

Getting a Little Crazy

"We're never gonna survive unless we get a little crazy."
-Seal

This past Tuesday the sun was out and air temperatures were in the high 30's. However, the 40+ mile per hour wind made what would have otherwise been a nice day rather miserable.

On a day like that most mere mortals would run on the treadmill or forego their run altogether. Most observers would say that you would have been crazy to run that day.

The thing is, I'm not so sure crazy is bad.

Running fast takes a bit of crazy.

Training hard takes a bit of crazy.

Training Versus Racing

Today marks the 388th day in a row I have gone for a run. In those 388 days it seems like I have been reminded of the difference between running and training about every 45 days or so .

Over the last 388 days I came away from many of the races I have run feeling disappointed. Given my fitness I really thought I would perform better.

Winter Strength Training

Winter is a great time to focus on building strength. I have come to think of strength as coming in 2 different forms for runners.

First is running strength. Simply put, this is the strength gained from running on difficult, hilly, or often-turning routes.

Second is complimentary strength. This is the type of strength that is not as easily gained from running, but that helps us be able to run faster, farther, and avoid injury.

Winter can be a great time to work both types of strength.

Indoor

Indoor track in Colorado has grown by leaps and bound in the last several years. Just a few years ago high school athletes were limited to USATF all-comer meets hosted every other weekend or so. Now, just about every weekend, there is a high school meet hosted somewhere along the front range.

When I was in college I competed in indoor track. It was one of my favorite times of the year for many reasons.

2012: The Year of Daily Disciplines

I am a goal setter.

It may be a simple matter of my operational definition, but I don't do New Year's Resolutions. When I think of resolutions I think of things like "stop smoking," "lose weight," and "save money." To me, these are wishes, not goals. They have no time line attached, are not measurable or trackable, and are generally vague. Therefore they carry no power.

So, when I set my goals I try to be specific, measurable, have a deadline, and only set goals that I will actually go after.

365 Lessons

Okay, okay. I'm not going to try to come up with 365 lessons from a year of running. The would be tedious at best and miserable for all of us at worst.

But, I do feel like I learned some things along the way that are valuable to share. Some are running specific. Some translate to life in general. Some are practical. Some are philosophical.

All are genuine. And I hope all are worth sharing.

365 Days of Running: How It Happened

On January 1st, 2011 I set out to run every day for a month. The only rule was I had to run at least one mile for it to count. I got the idea from the year end edition of Running Times which suggested running every day for a year as a goal to consider. Having never run more than 10 or 11 days in a row previously, I thought it would be smart to see how my body handled 31 days before going after 365.

I started slow.

Special Edition: 365 Days!

This morning I went for a short run on the concrete trails near my sister and brother-in-law's apartment. Aside from the 40 mile per hour winds there would be nothing unusual about this run, had it not been the 365th consecutive day I went for a run.

That's right, every day in 2011 I went for a run.

There are plenty of lessons to be learned from 365 days of running. But today is not the day for lessons, philosophies, or waxing sentimental. You'll have to read my posts over the next week or so for that stuff.

Running Goals 2012: Thoughts and Tips

I have been thinking about my goals for the next year for nearly a month now. Over the past month I have had lots of ideas, many of which I have dismissed immediately and some of which I have contemplated extensively.

Here are a few ideas to help you set running goals for the upcoming year:

1) Keep them reasonable. Goals that are too big can be daunting and discouraging. I did not set a goal to run every day for all of 2012; I set a goal to run every day in January. When that was accomplished I set a goal for the next month. Pretty soon running every day was a habit.

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