As some of you know I have some some lofty racing goals for 2011. I put this goals out there because I want to show myself that I am strong enough to set goals that are hard, that I may never achieve, that I set for myself with less regard for what others think about me if I do or do not meet them. I know I am not defined by meeting a certain goal. I also know that I love the chase more than achieving the actual goal...once you get to the top of the mountain and the views are amazing, you still have to walk down.
The first couple are running related - breaking 20min in the 5K and 1:30 in the half marathon. Honestly, the 5K should not be hard; in fact, I ran a 19:38 per Garmin in the summer, but you never know with longer courses, wind, snow, etc. The half marathon seems a tad of a challenge...
In my quest to improve my ability to focus I have been learning new things about my body. I have a pretty good aerobic engine. I don't get out of breath easily. When I run fast, my lungs are mostly fine, HR is not v high (perceived), but my muscles become weak as time goes by. This weakness manifests itself in decreased stride efficiency. I start to become less springy. My feet make contact with the ground longer than necessary. It becomes an effort to lift my knees up. My body becomes straight rather than leaning forward. Of course, my legs are not fresh as I work them pretty hard in the bike/run combo (I don't really use them much in swimming), but still, they need to be stronger. So I am doing plyometrics and hill sprints galore. I also have some longer hill efforts planned, which I am excited about because....I don't do well on hills.
I have also noticed that I run faster at track than on the road. This is likely mental. For ex., I ran 4 miles @ 6:25 average at the track 2 weeks ago, and 3.07 miles @ 6:30 on the road. The runs were a bit different in that the second was a progression with 4 faster descending miles before the 3, but still, running in circles seems easier to me. I manage to focus much better at the track and my pace seems to be more even. The 4 miles were ran descending from 6:35 to 6:17. In the 3 miler I lost focus during the second mile and ended up running a 6:46 (this was a bit uphill, however), and than had to bring it home at a 6:12.
The other thing I have been thinking about is tolerance. A really fast blogger just ran a sub 3 marathon. In her report she talked about having a HR of 188 at some point, the higher she's ever had, higher than her HR in a 5K. This is absolutely amazing to me. I picture myself in that situation, with heavy breathing forcing myself to slow down for fear of blowing up. Neither a Garmin or running by feel would help in this situation. It's sheer will power and confidence and toughness. I want some of that! I know these things are practiced in training. And I do that. But you can't really practice going all out all the time, because of the potential for injury. You need to somehow give it all in the race. I have always said that I train harder than I race. This strategy has served me well. However, I think that I am at the point where, if I want to be faster, I need to find a way to allow myself to suffer more in a race, to take risks, to believe that my training will allow me to go above and beyond the limits that my brain and body are putting on myself when things get tough in a race. And I think that I can practice this via mental rather than physical training.
What's your weakness and what do you do about it?
Building a clock
7 months ago