Posted by: Steven Hammer | March 13, 2010

The art of recovery

My chronic problem as a runner has always been overtraining. Here’s an illustration:

I check my schedule and it reads “long run, 15 miles.” I promise myself this time will be different. I’ll run at an easy pace. I won’t be tempted to catch that guy a few blocks up. I won’t push myself because I feel invincible. I’ll take it easy. I suit up, lace up, and walk out my front door (as if I’m entering some great coliseum). I begin slowly enough. By mile 5 I can’t think of a good reason not to pick up my pace 30 or 45 seconds. Mile 10, I only feel better. I finish in spectacular fashion. Negative splits, out of breath, and ready for that tall and well-deserved glass of chocolate milk.

The problem with this, for me anyway, is that I sometimes run every workout like it’s a speed interval day. This makes it difficult to run 5 days per week, and I’m sure doesn’t help with my actual speed workouts and injury potential. Even more notably, I’m going to need to learn how to curb this as my training shifts gears from marathon training to ultramarathon training. This will be a completely different story and I’m going to have to learn patience. 50 miles is no 5k. It’s no 26.2!

So, I’ll brag a bit. I ran an easy five miles today. Really–an easy run. I even walked for a bit to exercise patience. Better yet, my body doesn’t feel like I ran at all. I’m not exhausted and sore, and I suspect my long run tomorrow will feel better than ever (knock on wood). So maybe I’m starting to mature as a runner, or at least starting to respect my no-longer-18-years-old body. Maybe fear of injury has initiated it, maybe a lofty set of goals for this running season.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day and happy running, friends.

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Responses

  1. Go. Steve.


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