RACE DAY.......VARIOUS RUNNERS......VARYING AGENDA
Whilst I've always championed the cause that training should be enjoyable, for me from day 1 there has always been a race on the horizon and that has always dictated the training planned and executed. Take away the desire for competition and the need to train usually diminishes. If not total the intensity just is not required. Only natural really. I have had racing troughs as in 1994 when I only ran 4 races and consequently the training was halve to around the 40 mile mark. It took a change of club to motivate me again.
Speaking to Complete Runner customers it's interesting to learn how their approach to racing varies so much. Many don't race at all, using running as a means of "unwinding", keeping the weight down or just an attempt to "stay young and beautiful"...body maintenance.
Quite a lot just run a couple of big races each year. They talk frequently and enthusiastically about the "GNR", the Great North Run, the world's largest half marathon and "the Marathon", referring to the London as if it was the only one on the planet!
Questionably many club runners seem to crave a weekly fix; even a twice weekly fix in summer. They seem to record very consistent performances but perhaps never really make great progress towards a fabulous P.B.
Then there are those who say they aim for 3 or 4 key races in a year in which they aim to peak. Tune up or build up races on the way are not run at training pace but they are run with an eye to the main prize. The "big one" demands a good taper or ease down, hopefully an outstanding performance, leaving the runner
well and truly spent. A period of recovery and it's off again rebuilding the "wall of fitness" for the next defining event.
I think I have tended to fall into the latter category. Certainly in the '80s when 3, 4 or even 5 marathons would define the aims and objectives of the running year. I could accept the toll the event had on the body; nature of the race. A case of.....
The marathon is a 26.2 mile race, get used to it!
I've suffered that post big race feeling the last week. Shame because the Great Grizedale Trail race was not exactly listed by me as a defining major race , far from it. Not exactly the "big one"!
As with several I spoke to we were half regarding it as our off road Sunday run with a number on.
But as I always say I defy anyone to hold themselves back to their normal training pace with a number is attached to your racing vest. Nigh on impossible!No, I wasn't prepared for the damage the roller coaster Lake District event would do to the old legs. Partly because just that I wasn't prepared for it! As I said I coped better than most with the hills but essentially I don't run "do hills" like I use to. (Note to self: build in more hill work!)
So the 7 days of week 13 didn't quite go as well as planned. No days missed, but fewer miles (40) , every day less than pencilled in, and no speed session. Yes, I felt so drained I even missed my "farewell" (official) session at Seedhill Track which will no longer be open in the the morning due to cut backs.
Following a week of "icing" after every run the soreness gradually faded and I managed a 10 yesterday albeit in a slow pace.
In contrast, a customer who ran last Sunday's race told me he raced again on the Tuesday night and another lady recovered such that she ran not one but 2 10Ks trail races last weekend. (I passed her at 4 miles last week and she finished 5 minutes down at the end )
As I said, runners' approach to racing varies so much, it takes all sorts. But ,hey, as long as we're all enjoying our running what the heck, that's all that matters really isn't it?
Or how do you see it?