Learning to Love Running

It’s time I do something about this thing where I hate running, so I’ve decided to train for the Hartford marathon in October.  Well actually, I started training for it a while back, and in response to my rather painful experience and poor running form at the Providence 1/2 ironman, I’ve decided to take it on full-time rather than continuing to compete at the 1/2 ironman distance in so-so form for lack of running prowress.  This is also giving me a mental break as I prepare to move out of Guatemala and back to the US – something that’s proving to be a bit more of a headache than I imagined, since my lease is up 7 days after I get back!

My logic behind this marathon exclusivity – beyond the mental break – is based on four major goals that I think are very realistic:

(1) learn to enjoy running
(2) learn to pace effectively over long distances
(3) prepare my body for next season’s full ironman training, especially my lower legs
(4) learn to run efficiently while tired

So far, I’ve really enjoyed the marathon training, and my pacing is becoming natural.  I’m working on running efficiently while I’m tired, but my biggest challenge has been over-training and its impact on my lower legs – especially on my right achilles.  Just recently I missed 4 straight days because I didn’t stop at the first twinge of pain – or the second, third, or fourth either.  So I’m reading up and trying to get smarter about my training.

I’ve altogether ditched the Garmin – focusing on heart rate and constantly checking pace really throws me off.  I have found that training with that type of stuff is kind of like upgrading the size of your apartment – you never knew you needed the space until you had it.  I don’t want to become a spoiled athlete that needs his tools, so I’m ditching it for the much more developed biological indicators.

My biggest focus in all of this is #1 – learning to really enjoy being on the roads and trails.  I’m letting myself pretty much train wherever I want right now, and whenever the timing feels right – in this way, I’m avoiding repetition burnout running in the same places all the time to get hills or temperature training in.  I figure it’s a long time training – if I lose 15-20 minutes on my marathon time for not training hills, I’m really ok with that…much better than losing my interest in the sport as a whole and never running another one!


One Response

  1. Good luck with your goals! I love running naturally so I’m lucky on this one. Swimming is my weakness. I think I started liking it more when I saw myself improving. I also recommend doing it in groups. Music helps. Trails are wonderful.

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