Before I move on to today's topic, how about an update on my training. I ran a total of 50 miles last week on the final road to recovery from the latest in this aging runner's string of injuries. 15.5 of those miles were the Bulldog 25K trail run in Calabasas on Saturday. Otherwise, darn it, my left big toe once again is sore, probably from the jarring 4,000 feet of downhills on the Bulldog course. I'll get over it!
For those of you keeping up with this blog, you probably know that while I like to train hard, I don't take training too seriously. What that means is, I don't like to get too caught up in precise training schedules, measuring and writing down every aspect of my runs, watching everything I eat, etc. Doing so take some of the enjoyment of running and competing away from me. But that's just me.
Or maybe it ain't just me...
I laughed when I read about the superhuman Usain Bolt's pre-world record shattering 100 meter race meal of chicken nuggets. I also grinned when I read how nonchalant he is before each race...smiling, joking around, having fun. But when that gun goes off, he's a lightning "Bolt."
Then I read an article in the August 19th Wall Street Journal about 31 year old Kara Goucher, a top American marathoner who competed in the 5000 and 10000 meters at the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics. I LOVE the quote "Ms. Goucher has taken all the tactics generated by U.S. running experts...the charts, the mileage recommendations and high-tech motion-sensing computer readouts - and stuffed them in a dumpster."
After decades of "highly structured training" telling runners "how many miles to run on how many days and how quickly to do it" U.S. runners were becoming less and less competitive.
On the other hand, Kenyan and Ethiopian runners shot up the ranks through an aggressive "run first, ask questions later" style.
Goucher takes this approach she "focuses on running hard and fast for as long as it seems right" according to her coach, 3-time New York Marathon winner Alberto Salazar.
The article also quotes Olympic Marathon Bronze Medalist (and former Agoura High School standout) Deena Kastor "For so long, people...were focused on figuring out the exact science behind setting records. But there is no exact science."
So fellow runners, ponder and weigh the need for precision and analysis in your training versus the simplicity of just GETTING OUT THERE and running! Listen to your body. If you are feeling good, run hard! Have a plan, but have some flexibility. It may well just pay off as you train for your next race!