My Beliefs About Training.

My Beliefs About Training.

plantation 2While it is on my mind I thought I might share some of my beliefs about training!  None of this is based on science or current practice but there is so much out there it can be so confusing especially if you are just starting out!

Now I am a rebellious soul so if someone says you have to do it this way or that way odds are I won’t listen!!    Anyway, there are a few things I have come to learn and one is no one training program fits all!!    I started back into running in the mid 1970s mainly to try and get back the feelings I had when I was young and needed so desperately to feel good about myself!  Running did this for me!

Initially it was very slow just putting one foot in front of another at whatever pace I could maintain without falling apart!!  But as I progressed I started to look at ways to improve and go further and faster.  I did most of my training on my own or with friends that would start to run then fall by the wayside.  It wasn’t until I joined a running club that the serious training began!

I was in my early 30’s had just completed my Nursing training and was working full time shift work!  I also had a family so it wasn’t easy fitting training in!  I was very tired a lot of the time especially if I had done a back to back or night shift!  Back then the program was very ridged and tough with no breaks so instead of improving I went backwards!!  I then started to have hamstring and buttock problems followed by calf and Achilles issues!  To say I was frustrated and upset would be an understatement!

I had been following the training schedule for runners who wanted to run sub 1.30hr half marathon but instead of improving I was getting slower and slower.  I also noticed that some of the other women runners were coping and improving on this schedule others were not!!  It was time to re assess what I was doing and listen to my body!!    This was when I changed my training and developed something I could comfortable do without feeling exhausted or suffering injuries!!

If I was feeling tired or sore, I would not run but instead do something else like cycle or swim.  I always had 1 day completely off exercise which I found difficult to begin with but after a while it was just part of my training!!   I also stopped the big mileage followed by sessions of speed drills, hill reps, etc.   This certainly worked for me as my running and times improved until I was running consistently sub 4min km up to 10km!  Now I never managed to break the 1.30 min, half marathon but I did get down to 1. 31 min.  Had I continued to train as I was I doubt I would be still running today as many of the runners I trained with can no longer run!

Tips and Tricks

  • Train smart not hard, listen to your body it will tell you if it needs a rest!
  • Get a running schedule that suits you not someone else!
  • If you are tired and your programme for the day is a long run or speed work don’t force it!
  • Muscles need time to repair don’t do 2 hard sessions on top of one another especially if you are already tired and sore!!  You are sore because every time you push your muscles beyond their current level you get microscopic tears these need time to heal before they are ready to go to the next level!

Sometimes the self-chatter can tell you it is too hard or you can’t do it you need to tell the difference between this and genuine fatigue but if you are not improving and are finding you are getting niggling injuries then I think you need to start listening and re-assessing your training programme!




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