Grit and nuance

Hi Everyone!


Hope everyone saw the results and were inspired by the Berlin Marathon on the weekend. Eliud Kipchoge set a new world record, running it in a time of 2:01:09. Stunning. And Natasha Wodak took down our Canadian Women’s record in a time of 2:23:12! It was a very fast and inspiring day.


What both of these athletes (and many others) demonstrate through these achievements is grit. And by grit, I do not mean the grittiness of racing a marathon. I mean the grittiness as defined by Angela Duckworth as passion and perseverance over time. Both of these athletes have been running for somewhere around 30 years. Think about that. They have been doing what they love, not with the vision that in 20 or 30 years they might be setting records, but because they have loved it. It’s the time and consistency (grit) that have led to success. This is not an overnight business. It is very hard to predict success, but looking back from success, you often find a path of plain old consistency. Just plugging away day after day and year after year. This is what we call grit.


One of the key factors which Duckworth points to in people who display grit, is that they are able to find nuance in their passions. They keep it fresh and interesting. Yes, in the big picture, they are doing the same thing, but they have figured out ways to keep it novel. In fact, Wodak just recently moved up to the marathon distance, having competed at almost every distance leading up to that. And her predecessor as the marathon record holder, Malindi Elmore, had gone to the Olympics in the 1500m 15 years prior to setting the marathon record. As most runners know, there is a LOT of nuance between the 1500m and the marathon (oh and she also dabbled in Ironman triathlons in there).


As I ran in my hoodie with a headlamp under a black sky this morning, a sudden shift from my sweaty summer runs with ever present daylight and humidity, I had the thought that running in our climate provides a lot of nuance whether we ask for it or not. Running in the middle of summer is as different an experience from running in the middle of winter as you could expect from the same activity. Embracing the novelty that each season brings keeps us passionate and interested and in the game. With seasons I also like to switch events. Fall brings cross-country. If you’re looking for novelty and nuance in your running – allow me to suggest some hilly, muddy runs over hill and dale where no one ever asks you your time because it doesn’t matter. The beauty in running is that there are so many options, and it really doesn’t matter how you switch it up – but if you’re able to add nuance to your passion, you are doing what the grittiest people do, and you will be in this for a long time.


On to tomorrow’s workout – back to Lakeshore! 6:05 drills, 6:15 GO time:


Classic cut-down: 1600 (2 min), 1200 (1:45), 1000 (1:30), 800 (1:30), 600 (1:15), 400. Starting around 10K/HM pace and working down. I’ll mark out 400m. We’ll have to do a little 200m jog after the 1000 to get to the 800 start.


If just getting into workouts, start with 1200 and work down. Trust me, that’s enough.


If going by time: 7-6-5-4-3-2 min Hard with the rest being 2:00-1:45-1:30-1:30-1:15 Easy.


If training for Chicago, this stands. Pace work on the weekend, make your easy days EASY and next week is full taper workout.


That is all – see you in the am!