Going with the flow

May 25, 2009

In a previous post, I mentioned a few running-related lessons from 2008 that I hoped to act upon in 2009. Lesson #3 was that “my training should be less ‘scientific’ and more enjoyable.”

So far, so good.

Every so often, I have a week or two where I’m stressed out by work-related pressures and not in the mood to do speed workouts. Last year, I would have done the workouts anyway, performed poorly, and wound up discouraged and even more stressed out. This year, I’ve just been skipping the speedwork, and it’s been great!

What I haven’t been doing is skipping runs. Slow runs between work and home are not a big deal, so I’ve kept doing them during high-stress periods, sometimes even adding extra ones on easy days (commuting on foot both ways instead of running one way and biking one way). I figure that if I’m not running fast, I might as well get some miles in. (Recent weeks have included a 100-mile week and a 96-mile week, which for me are quite high-volume.)

Avoiding workouts doesn’t necessarily feel great while I’m avoiding them. Upon returning to a track-like venue after a week or two of being away, though, I’ve often been pleasantly surprised by the spring in my stride. Most recently, I ran the Nordstrom Beat the Bridge 8K on May 17th after a 10-day no-serious-speedwork period and wound up 4th in 24:53 — not far off of my 3rd-place 24:50 from 2006.

Maybe a couple more weeks of track truancy is all I need to ensure a good finish at the Endurance Challenge 50-miler on June 6th.

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