I used to try to manage my run as I was running. Checking my watch. Staying at a target pace. (I have no idea what this pace was based on other than maybe what I ran one time and felt pretty good at?) monitoring my stride and trying to adjust it on the fly. (Again, not sure what made me a stride expert.)
Spoiler alert: I wasn’t great.
At the start of this year, as it became time to start training for the Ville to Ville Craft Brew Relay (would have been last weekend but has been rescheduled for November), I just ran. Just to see where I was at. How things felt. How far I could go at what pace. Without thinking, planning, and managing. Just letting my body dictate things.
And? I was better.
I enjoyed running more. I ran faster and farther. Running was no longer a slog but just something to do and enjoy. Not a task but a hobby. The more I tried to enjoy the run itself the better I felt.
If you’re trying to compete, set a record, or win something, this approach may not be for you. But for all other runs, give it a try.
Where else in your life might this mentality apply?
The last few runs, especially longer runs, have resulted in hot spots, blisters, all the usual fun stuff. I feel like it is happening more frequently than it used to.
Maybe I just need to build my callouses back up. Maybe I need new socks. Maybe I need to tie my shoes differently (I never know if they are too loose or too tight). Or maybe I do need new shoes, preferably with a wider toe box.