First up, huge congrats to Cindy who raced the 50K Gatineau Loppet on the weekend and came 2nd in her age group! Way to go. Imperfect training and imperfect conditions but awesome race execution!
And Awesome job to many on this list who tackled their first Big Long Runs of this build, despite snowy windy conditions (again!) Everyone here is inspiring me – I love it!
Lately I’ve been thinking about our ability to listen to ourselves. To our bodies, our intuitions, our inner voices. I was just watching an interview with Molly Seidel where she is asked “what is the most important thing for runners” and her answer is “honesty with their body”. And in order to be honest, you have to really be able to listen to the signals. This is actually not as easy and straightforward as it might seem. As runners training to run further and faster, we’re continually over-riding what our brains and bodies are telling us. As members of a busy life with never-ending noise and signals, we are constantly tuning out our more quiet needs. So how do we know when to listen and what to listen for?
I heard somewhere that when we ignore certain needs for too long, we just become accustomed to a new state and think that is normal. The example given was socializing. This is an innate human need, but over covid we’ve tramped it down for so long that we might find we have to force ourselves back into it at first. We no longer naturally have the drive that once sustained us. The same goes for sleep with most of our population. We ignore natural impulses to sleep when it’s not convenient, and have normalized functioning on way less than optimal sleep and don’t even realize how over-tired we are. (For the record, this is one area that I feel that I shine and I know I’m lucky to be able to, but I will nap as soon as I get the signal that my body needs sleep). Another signal that busy people can tune out is hunger. Again, if you ignore it for long enough, you can lose touch with it. You’re now blind to your body’s sleep and hunger needs – two of the most important areas to listen to for performance.
But here’s the thing. As Seidel says – it’s about being HONEST with what you’re hearing. Sometimes your body will say it’s too tired today but you know you can get up and go. Sometimes your brain/body tells you to slow down but you know you can push through. But sometimes your body hurts in a different way or is tired for too long, and that is where you need to be in tune and really listen and be honest. No coach can tell you perfectly when to push and when to back off. The most seasoned athletes know this intuitively because they have learned through trial and error, how to listen. It is one of the most important skills you can develop.
Never forget: you’re not fighting your body. Your body is your best friend. She is there telling you (and sometimes only in a whisper) what she needs. Listen up and pay attention. You do not want to lose touch with that communication. As an athlete, that is the most important thing.
Onto tomorrow’s workout!
Lakeshore again – 6:05 for drills, 6:15 GO time
3 x 1000 (@10K pace) w 1:30; 3 min; 6 x 400 (@5K pace or slightly faster) w 1:15; 3 min; 2 x 200 (Fast) w 1:00
If doing it fartlek style: 3 x 4 min w 1:30, 3 min easy, 6 x 1:30 w 1:30, 3 min easy, 2 x 40 seconds fast
I will bring a cone. We’ll have to do some joggling around for the 1000’s – I have a plan.
That is all – see you in the am!