Stop thinking that you have to run more or run harder to PR

You don’t have to run more miles and you don’t have to run harder to PR.  Now, don’t get me wrong – if you do one or both of those things and – and this is a big and – you stay healthy, then there is a good chance that you will run a PR.  But consistency almost always leads to PRs and if you’re someone who has struggled with injury, i.e. you’ve struggled to train with consistency, then you should look at your last few months of training and say “If I can just get in the mileage and the workouts that I did in the previous training period – but stay healthy – I will probably run a PR.” All runners have interruptions in their training – they get sick, they have to travel, etc. – but these interruptions are not what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about finding a manageable volume of running, then adding in a workout or two per week, plus a long run that you can handle for eight, twelve or ideally sixteen weeks.  If consistency defines a 16 week period of training then you can likely PR.

All runners have interruptions in their training - they get sick, they have to travel, etc. – but these interruptions are not what I’m talking about.  I’m talking about finding a manageable volume of running, then adding in a workout or two per week, plus a long run that you can handle for eight, twelve or ideally sixteen weeks.  If consistency defines a 16 week period of training then you can likely PR.

 

Feeling good, being uncomfortable and suffering

To me, the three choices a runner has when running a race or a hard workout is to feel good, be uncomfortable or suffer.

You can’t suffer in every workout or you’ll either get hurt or start the process of overtraining.  But don’t deceive yourself when it comes to races – you’re going to suffer if the goal is to run to your fitness level.  You might feel good through 3k of a 5k, but the next 1k is going to be tough and that last 1k you’ll suffer…if you run to your fitness level.

Learning to run fast when you’re uncomfortable is a skill that takes time, but it’s an essential skill if you want to reach your potential as a runner. [Read more...]