Monday, February 11, 2013

Anticipating Improvement

We train to improve.  To run faster or longer.  We know when we start a new training cycle we will improve in the macro-cycle.  We also create an expectation of improvement week to week.  Early in the training cycle we see quick improvement.  This leads to thoughts like ~ "Last week I ran 5x1 mile at 6:22 pace, this week it will be 6:18 pace."  We might even start scheduling out the improvement over the weeks to end in the fitness we want to be at for our goal race.

Reality improvement happens or does not happen on its own schedule. happens.  One week we might see no improvement, the next a much bigger improvement than we expect.

For me last week was the 1st week I took care of all the non-running training and I was anticipating a nice improvement in fitness.  I ate right, slept well and avoided alcohol.  I felt really good going into my Saturday morning 10 miles at marathon pace run.  I looked forward to a run faster and easier than the previous weeks workout.  But the 1st step was hard and by 1/4 mile I had to back down slightly.  It never got easy, some workouts are like that.  It never got harder either.  I spent the whole run trying to relax and find a smooth stride.  By the end I had run the 10 miles at the same pace as the previous weeks 9 miles at marathon pace.

I started running almost 10 years ago.  In the early years I would force improvement in workouts that was not really there.  This led to a snowball effect of over-pacing a series of workouts. I anticipated consistent improvement, but my real improvement was always behind the pace I was forcing.  Eventually this ended in over-training and a sub-par goal race.

I still anticipate improvement, but I am not a slave to the watch.

Currently my biggest potential improvement is from weight loss ... I am not gaining or losing ... stuck at 220 pounds.

Good running to all!


  1. Amen, brother. It took a lot for me to not try to make up a blown workout, to know that that's a shortcut to injury.

    And I've lost the weight this week. 151 today.

  2. I stress eat and drink ... well there is not that much stress, so I should be doing better on my weight loss.