Tuesday's blog was a bit short and rushed. I was tired but I didn't want to miss a day in December.
I had so much more I wanted to say, I wanted to add a couple of things that I probably new already but it's not until the going gets tough, you remember!
I arrived at track with plenty of time to spare, I put my IAMRUNBOX in to the lockers and headed out to the track to get a mile or so warm up in. It's hard to tell if you are feeling good for the session or not until you get started. The warm up felt the same as any other week. I felt relaxed but it was a relaxed pace we were running.
Once the season kicked off though, my shoulders felt tight, I wasn't running smoothly. The 400s were tough, I just wasn't feeling it and I was starting to dread the rest of the session. After the first set of 800s my legs were jelly and I felt like my legs were flailing around behind me. I couldn't find any way of feeling like a runner.
It wasn't until the second last 1600m rep that I realised that my face was screwed up and tense. I remember a while back at track, actually it must be a while back because this individual has gone in to early retirement and not been seen at track for quite some time, lets just call this person BM.
BM gave me some advice, relax the face and the rest of the body will relax. I thought I'd give it a shot, I had nothing to lose, low and behold, my shoulders relaxed, my form improved and I started to feel like a runner and was able to pick the pace up a bit. The thing is though that I instantly forgot it again on the next rep, until the final 400. I'll need to keep on reminding myself of this in future races / training sessions.
#2. Fuel the body
If you don't fuel the body correctly then you can't run or train correctly. I'm fueling my body the best I ever have recently and I'm feeling much better for it. I have a couple of snacks before my training runs, especially the Tuesday runs but I have also started to take water with me to training. Not something I normally do unless it's a really hot day. I've found just a wee mouthful of water and apple juice mixed together gives me the hydration I need. Maybe it's just physiological but it seems to be making me run a bit better.
#3. Don't think about the people in front of you
This one is probably more relevant when training on a track. As a group we have a mixture of paces that do the same session each Tuesday, we start the reps at the same time and it's so easy to get pulled along with them for the first 50 - 100 metres. This can be disastrous when you are running with people who knock out sub 5 minute mile reps! I used to get worried that I wasn't keeping up with a group ahead of me after a couple of reps, only to find out that they have gone off 4 seconds quicker than they meant to. I now try and just concentrate on my pace, my training, not what other people are doing. This is slightly different to running with people who are of a similiar fitness and pace as you, if I start to fall off the back of that group then I try and figure out why I'm not running as well as I would expect. This could be due to a harder weekend training or coming down with a cold or something like that. There is usually an answer.
#4 Enjoy it
I go to track and train hard because I enjoy it. I enjoy finding a new gear that I didn't think I had. Even if that gear is then lost the following day, I know in the back of my head that the pace is there and the training is working. That then leads to enjoyable races and hopefully new personal best times and if I'm lucky enough, maybe even a podium finish!
I have swapped my training around a bit today, because I'm in taper mode for this weekends Foxtrail race, I'm only running 6 miles each day and that was meant to be this morning but after some late night Christmas shopping last night I decided to have a wee lie in. Tonight I went exploring again, this time up the cycle path for a bit and then taking random roads and paths. It's safe to say, I'll probably not venture along this route again! It was erm, interesting to say the least! Nice to see where some roads go to but probably best explored during the day!
Once I got back to my own turf I could relax again. I'm really impressed with the camera on my new phone, it's low light ability is so much better than my previous! Just as well since most of my runs just now are done in the dark.