Monday, 26 April 2010


 I hardly need to remind all you learned literary geeks out there that the quotation, "to thine own self be true" is from Shakespeare's Hamlet, spoken by Polonius.  You may interpret the words differently, but out of the context of the play I have always taken the phrase to mean stick to your own ideals and beliefs in life.  I think the approach to consistent running,  particularly with regard to avoiding injury is much the same.
 I know there are some runners who detest training by themselves. They have a list of running mates and will work down the list until they find one to run with on a given day.  There are other runners who have a single running partner and despite their levels of ability being slightly different train together virtually all he time.   Many young runners only run "down at the club"; every "session" with team mates.
  There is no doubt about it,  a session shared, whether  a steady run or track reps,  is far easier to cope with.  But I think all of the above practises  have drawbacks.   What if the running mate off your list is planning a run poles apart from your plan? Do you compromise, share the run and risk injury?  Or do you say,  sorry your run doesn't fit in with my plans and risk offending a friend?    If you run with the same person all the time, surely one is working too hard and the other not hard enough?   If you only train at the club, what happens when the "spoon that's feeding you" is taken away and you have to plan and execute your sessions perhaps when starting university.
  No, one advantage of generally running solo now and not having anyone at all dependant on me, is that I can plan my racing and training largely without restraints of other runners' needs.  Obviously racing wise there are team considerations but at present these largely  coincide with my plans anyway.  
  With the next race being on a May Bank Holiday Monday , the plan was to recover from the 10K last week then put in 3 track sessions at 3 day intervals.   So, last Friday (5 x 1K),  today Monday (tempo 5K)
Thursday (300s).   A plan possible as I am not drawn in to hard sessions every Tuesday and Thursday on club night or drawn into training with others with  different racing plans. 
  Don't get me wrong ,  I really appreciate the occasions when I train with freinds but as most of them are younger and faster  I wouldn't expect them to compromise for me.  It has to be a case of me catching them on an easy day or sharing part of a longer run.
    It's a case of choosing your races, planning your training and if others share your goals then great.
       Keep deviating your plans and objectives and you could end up like Polonius.  On your back!

 On this basis I've often found midweek race leagues problematic; particularly if the distances raced are unconventional or mixed terrain.  Perhaps I have too much of  a hangup with definitive distances and times. Am I too pedantic in my approach? 
                                      But, going back to the plan!
  Sadly today's 5K tempo effort on the track showed no improvement on last month. In fact the time was virtually identical at 22.37.6.   So at least it wasn't any slower.   Last night's hilly 8.5 took more out of me than expected for one.  Knees suffering from the descents!   I was "visualising" my finish for next week's 5K which also finishes on the track.......mental rehearsal!! For the record, spilts were (rounded off)
(55.4)  1.53  1.51  1.51  1.50  1.50  1.48  1.48  1.48  1.48  1.48  1.45.6  1.39.3.........22.37.6    Off to ice the knees now...which I failed to do last night!  

How about you?  Do you always have to run with others?  
Or do you need solitude when you run? It's your "me" time!
Do you have an everpresent partner?   Does it work?
Do you go down to your running club and not know what you will be doing 'til you get there?
Do you think planning detracts from the joy of spontaneity?

1 comment:

  1. Although you would not think it from my recent results - in the past I have found a combination of both group and individual sessions to work best. Any group session involves compromise somewhere along the line, but training in a group can act as additional motivation and help spice things up. Spontanious sessions work best between specific blocks of training again freshening things up a little.