Friday, September 18, 2015

Training with a beast: It’s how you get better.

My running partner Bip and I
When I first started running, there were a few coworkers who were running in the 8:00-8:30 min/mile range.  I was struggling to get under 11:00 min/mile.  They are amazing and inspired me to be a better runner.  They are strong, fast, and can sometimes be thought of as superhuman (at least in my eyes). 

I have spent the last 2.5 years training to be faster and stronger.  I always wanted to be able to keep up with those coworkers.  All of my hard work has been paying off.  I can keep up with them on some of my runs.  They have become faster too so on their “easy days”, I am able stick with them. 

Here is my secret.  I stick to training with people who are “Beasts”!  They are stronger and faster than I am.  The truth is that on most of my runs with them, I ask myself “What the hell am I doing?”  I am struggling to keep up with them and want to just give up at times.  After I finish my run though, I feel great, because I have been able to stick with it.  I am becoming stronger!

I am not saying this is for everyone.  If you are just running for fun and have no desire to get faster, than this is probably not for you.  I like just running without worrying about pace or distance at times, but when my goal is to get faster for an upcoming race, I know what I need to do.  If you don’t push yourself to get faster, it won’t happen.  We get stronger by pushing ourselves to be better.  Our bodies can do more than we ever give them credit for, you just have to get past the mental barriers.

My running partner Ferdinand and I
I am in my 7th week of training for my first marathon, which consists of:

Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 4 mile run
Wednesday: 7 mile tempo run
Thursday: Cycle 15 miles
Friday: Rest

Saturday: 7 miles run (at race pace)
Sunday: 14 mile run

Also, my Achilles tendonitis in my heel is almost completely healed.  I have been experiencing burning in my Achilles tendon closer to my calf muscles though.  I have to stop and stretch a few times in the first 2-3 miles.  After that, I am good to go.  I will continue to do eccentric heel stretches and see if it goes away. 

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