November just keeps getting closer, the long runs keep getting longer, and this has prompted me to start thinking about how this season’s marathon training differs from past seasons. For my first and second marathons I used Hal Higdon and I switched this time to the run less, run faster method. The motivation wasn’t so much a resolute desire to get faster as it was a desire to run less, firmly rooted in my 2014 commitment to rowing throughout my marathon training cycle.
I know a lot of people scoff at the whole idea of “training just to finish.” They have time goals and they just have to PR. There’s always a nice, patronizing “but that’s just me” tacked on at the end of it, as if to say “I’m not a lazy runner, but I understand that some people are and they just don’t go out and really crush their workouts like I do.” I find sometimes running blogs have a really passive aggressive bragging about them and nothing irritates me more than fake humble bragging.
Nonetheless, I tried being that person who trains specifically to PR this past spring when I wanted to go under 2 hours in the half marathon and it didn’t pan out the way I had hoped. It’s not that I didn’t train for it, and it’s not that I didn’t work hard, it just wasn’t working and I guess sometimes I feel like people lose sight of the fact that a PR is not the be all end all of your entire fucking life.
The downside to Higdon’s plan was that I was running 5 days a week and doing much higher weekly mileage than I am with the run faster, run less plan. The upside to my previous method, though, was that I would enjoy the runs more when I didn’t dread not making the right time. Sometimes, it just feels like all I’m doing is staring down at a watch and pace is dictating my entire running life. I spend the whole run mentally caught up in a fear that I won’t run fast enough and the whole run will have been a complete waste.
This is an unacceptable way to run.
I’ve come to realize that I just don’t like pace based training the same way I don’t like gyms. I spend all my time being told what to do and how to do it, so a little less structure in my non-work hours combined with the freedom to just say “I’ll run how I feel, not how I’m arbitrarily supposed to” is something I plan on returning to in the post-NYC marathon training months.
How is everyone else’s training going?