Thursday, September 3, 2015

When Running is Just RIght

Today I ran what people training for marathons refer to as Yasso 800's.  This involves ten 800m (just short of a half-mile) intervals.  Between each, I run a 400m (one lap around the track).  In an ideal mythical world the one laps active rests would take the same amount of time as the 800m intervals.  I usually run the active rest periods a little fast. The idea is to remain as consistent as possible. And, as a wise running mentor once reminded me, the idea of the Yasso 800 workout is not to run the 800's as fast as I possibly can and feel dead at the end but to run them consistently and feeling like my boy is stressed but in a good way and that I am under control the whole time.

I've run this workout very fast in a few cases since working on my first marathon training season back in the fall of 2010.  In those cases, I think I was a little beyond the point of being under control the whole time.

Today, I went to a local private school track by myself.  There were two other people who were on the track at some point during the near an hour that I was there.  So, I was pretty much on my own the entire time.  And it was hot.  And it was humid.  And I had some PowerAde with me.

I ran the ten intervals in a pretty tight range.  The fastest was 3:03.  The slowest was 3:08.  I ran one at each end of the range--meaning that 8 were within a three second range.  That is not the ultimate in consistency, but doing that on my own felt like quite an accomplishment.

In addition, there were times when I pushed a little or made sure that I absolutely held my pace running all the way through the finish line.

I did stop for hydration breaks after numbers 4 and 7.  Those added maybe 10-20 seconds to my total rest time.  And helped me to stabilize my body temperature.

But it just felt good.  I did have to concentrate a bit but it really wasn't any effort that was extreme to do what I did.

That is a really cool place to be.

It reflects the value of nearly 6500 miles I've accumulated since May 2012.

It reflects the value of the the 1330 miles I've put in so far today, including  today's workout.

And it reflects the nearly 500 miles that I've put in during the last two months.

On top of that, it reflects that I have finally learned that I don't need to do the really fast 800m intervals but I really need to try to keep a pace.  The pace may result in faster intervals over time, but the goal for any given day is to hold pace.  Build up. And eventually be ready for more.  And use the constance and consistent an appropriate and controlled training to help me to perform better but not to try to get all if my improvements in one workout.

This type of building up one step at a time, can be used in business and education as well.  Each of us needs to think about how to improve ourselves over time.

The lessons from running (and most of all that the volume of activity matters) can be applied elsewhere in life.

And some might ask, "Did I feel the runner's high?"  No, but I felt a great sense of satisfaction and I felt like everything was just right.  With a little over five weeks to go until the next marathon I'll run my body is in some of the best shape it has ever been in.  

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