Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Finding the Time

I remember when I was researching the purchase of my first home and coming across the phrase, "Hidden Costs".  The idea being the notion that for the most part, you don't really know what you're getting into until you're on your eighteenth trip to Home Depot for the weekend in a thwarted attempt to fix your screen door that won't quit slamming shut.  By the time you're finished, you're throwing a thousand bucks a month at various widgets and so on when all you really thought you needed was some curtain rods.

Running in general, and training for a marathon specifically, can easily a beast of the same type.  You start the weekend looking forward to those two good workouts you have on the calendar and by the time you're done, the internal inertia created by family, friends and other various commitments leaves you to wonder just how in the hell you managed to miss both runs.  For me that usually goes hand in hand with wondering how it was I managed to finish off 3/4 of a Pale Ale twelve pack.

In an effort to combat this, I adopted a strategy that includes not stressing about the details of my training calendar.  For what it's worth, my plan is pretty simple.  Two days of "speed" work per week: one day of Yasso or half mile repeats and one day of negative split runs.  The other days are recovery runs along with a longish run on Friday's and a Long Run on Sundays.  I don't sweat the distance so much and if I feel lousy, I can always adjust.  I increase the mileage slightly each week but for the most part, I don't cry a river if I miss a run during the week.  (It's probably worth pointing out on the days I do speed work, I also lift some weights and do some core exercises.)

There are challenges though in merging even the loosest of training plans with your life and the requirements thereof.  This weekend was a great example.  Cousins visiting, beaches to experience, homework to do, dinners to be had . . . all fantastic excuses to miss your scheduled run.  I could have fretted all weekend long, becoming an antisocial jerk and driving my family bonkers.  Instead I chose to get a run in when I could (in this case it was along the beach with the pooch while the hot dogs cooked) and push the long run until Memorial Day.

I suppose my point is that the hidden costs of training can be easy to surmount given the right mindset.  A little bit of flexibility goes a long way and it's important to remember that unlike the house, a little "neglect" with regards to the training calendar might result in a healthier mindset in the long run.

By Marcus with No comments


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