Every so often I like to go back and take a look at what I have been doing as a runner to see if I can pick up any trends, that can help me moving forward. So I went back through my running logs and put together a chart with my weekly mileages since 2012.
What jumps out to you when you look at the chart?
Any ideas that would help me move forward?
I know a couple of things jump out at me pretty quickly.
First that my mileage goes down pretty significantly about Mid-May most years and bottoms out around the first week of June. I got to thinking about why that would happen and then I had one of those aha moments.
What happens for most runners about the first part of May or late April?
I know for me that is the end of Winter and I get the racing bug, which means that I start increasing my speed. The weather is turning nice and I want to run more and yeah, run faster too. I am willing to be that if I took the time to go back and put together my paces for that time start to see the paces getting faster and more speed work being done to get ready for racing during the summer.
Also it is about that time that I would get the annual gotta do a marathon bug after watching Boston and attempt to increase my mileage to do pre-marathon base training. Running faster and increasing my mileage during the same cycle, along with what I now know about how I was running my recovery runs. Gee I can’t imagine what happened when I did that?
Looking back with a different perspective, when I put those things together, it is a recipe for disaster and that is what usually happened – I got injured.
With that knowledge, perhaps I can avoid my May/June swoon by not getting caught up in poor training or attempting to train for two different types of races (5K or Marathon) at the same time.
Second problem area is around the end of August, I usually have a pretty good summer of training and I am getting ready for the Fall racing and I haven’t had any real rest for a few months and the body decided for me that I need a rest week or two. Some minor injury (usually the hamstring) that takes me completely out of my wanting to race at all in the Fall, due to my fear of re-injuring whatever I screwed up previously.
Perhaps, I need to add in a cut-back week about mid August to give me a little recovery time and see if that helps me get by the “injury jinx” I have around the end of Summer and maybe look at focusing on one big race for the Fall versus my usual wanting to run all of them and my brain shutting down, because it is just too much and I end up not doing any (like I did in 2018).
I have a feeling that following a more structured training program during the summer to lead up to a good race in the Fall will help me achieve more than the shotgunning I end up doing. Structured training is not something that I am great at, but it seems that I might not get injured as much if I at least stay within a framework.
The reality is that
Yeah, I know that I have the attention span of a gnat, but at some point I have to just stick with a training program from start to finish (as much as possible) to find out if I do any better with the structure to:
1. Meet my goals.
2. Get there without major injuries or down-time.
3. Stop my butterfly training methods.
For me and to be honest I have known this for a while, is that I train too willy-nilly and that I easily loose interest in a training plan and move on to the next greatest thing all too readily.
I call it my Butterfly Running Training Plan and definitely do not recommend it to anyone else. Flitting from one plan, philosophy of running/training just has not worked for me and I have a feeling that it doesn’t work for too many others either.
Conflicting ideas, methods, programs and all the other information leads to information overload and paralysis by analysis. I have said that I am going to stick to this or that training plan several times in the past and never followed all the way through.
This year I need to do something differently. Instead of going out saying I am going to do it this way or that way, I am just going try a couple of things this Winter and see what actually works and what I can discard. I have learned a lot about running and for some reason I am finally beginning to see things from a different perspective than I have in the past, now I just have to do something about it.
Wish me luck and hopefully I can avoid the May/June and end of Summer training traps.