Hope you all managed to get some runs in in the heat this past weekend. May as well just get it over with and get some of those hotter, ego-challenging runs in now. You will adapt, but only if you do it!
Isn’t the greenery and full summer vibrancy of colours amazing right now? It feels like it happened overnight. I don’t even remember noticing any buds and suddenly we have full foliage straight from what looked like dead winter branches. But obviously there was a lot happening in all the plants and trees preparing to bloom. In fact, the buds we are seeing blossoming on trees now were formed last August! They were then protected and fed and sheltered until the time was right, and it appears as though they’ve just burst forth from nowhere. It looks like it’s just taken a few days for nature to transform itself, when in reality the transformation has been taking place for the past 9-10 months.
Sometimes I think our training feels like it follows a similar pattern. Often someone will produce a great result or we will surprise ourselves with a training session that we could never have fathomed a year or two or three ago. And we might think: “well, I guess that person is really talented” or “I must have had this in me all along”. But that’s not true. Those “out of the blue” results come from months and sometimes even years of patient work that from the outside might look like it’s not progressing. But it always is. It’s the bud that is formed in August and is protected and fed and nurtured until it is ready to bloom. There is a lot of unglamorous work and seeming day-to-day stagnation that happens in training. And this is the most important stuff. It takes faith and patience, but the truth is that months and sometimes years of patient work is the foundation of strength and development that is required for a full bloom. And then when it happens, people will say, “where did that come from?” “What did you do differently?” And they will look for the “magic workouts” and few “key runs” that made it happen. I’ve seen this pattern in athletes who jump from program to program hoping to find the one that will bring success. When in reality it is the ground-laying, non-results based work that makes the real long term difference. Consistency, consistency, consistency. It’s not glamorous, it’s not sexy, but man, it works.
It wasn’t that one warm, sunny week in May that we had that produced the leaves we’re enjoying now. It was the months and months of careful nurturing through the dead of winter when no one could see anything exciting happening. So keep working and keep the faith! You will blossom when you’re ready.
Onto tomorrow’s workout – Back to hills! With a twist and non-hill option for Ottawa people:
Riverdale Hill (by the clubhouse at Broadview across from The Rooster)
- Sets of 3 x hill (nice and powerful) then walk across the street and run tempo the block from Riverdale, to Logan, to Withrow to Broadview. The entire loop is about 1.3K. Walk back to the hill and repeat this sequence 3-4 times. http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=7657121
- If doing the Ottawa Marathon or Half Marathon: Do 6 x that loop with 1:30 rest. No hills. First three at half marathon pace, next three a little faster. Option of a 7th at race pace.
- If in the beach or doing on your own, the Riverdale hills is about 200m, and you can do a 1K loop or out and back.
I’ll be there at 6:05 for some light warm-ups before we start!
See you soon