Investments and Withdrawals

Hi Everyone!


Hope you’re all staying warm and got some extra fueling help from chocolate yesterday. Ok, and maybe for the rest of this week. As I mentioned to someone recently, “if the fire’s hot enough, anything will burn” – (Once A Runner – John L Parker). So cheesy but so good.


Don’t you just love the feeling of being fit, running fast, being in total synch and in control of your body, feeling completely connected to your surroundings, knowing you can handle it and feeling like you can go forever? I know we’ve all experienced this. It’s probably what we’re always chasing. That one run every so often that just makes us feel powerful, in control, unstoppable and connected. These runs happen and are there for all of us, but I consider them a “withdrawal” from our account. They aren’t free. The average person (non-runner) doesn’t have these available to them. We take them out and we spend them with joy and if we could just keep spending like that life would be grand.


But of course, we can’t withdraw forever without ever making any investments. I think that’s economics 101. If we want those blissful, injury-free, free-flowing, fast miles, we need to put in some hard, cold, slower, heavy legged, ego-checking miles. These investments come in the form of doing strength work, cross-training, running in the winter, doing hill repeats, running faster than is comfortable for longer than is comfortable. This all has to be done during the “investment” phase so that when we’re ready to withdraw, there is a large balance. Generally we plan the “withdrawal” phase as our “competition” phase. This is likely the last 6 weeks or so before a key race. This is where we withdraw by running. We run and run and run and it’s getting warmer out and we’re getting faster and we have the energy and strength and resilience built up over the work in the winter.  That elusive “perfect run” that we’re all chasing, where you feel you can go all day, you’re at one with your body and your surroundings and everything is in synch and flowing – will happen, I promise. Will it happen on race day? That’s the tough formula we’re always trying to nail. But regardless, you will get some of these runs if you’ve invested. And just one or two of those will be enough to convince you to re-invest during early morning, dark, cold, grindy months on end. So don’t worry – you’re not crazy; you’re just addicted! (ha)


But just remember which phase you’re in. And remember there will be a payoff. Getting fit and being in tune with your body doesn’t have to culminate in a race in order to justify the work. Regardless of where this leads time-wise, there will be a time to withdraw and you will enjoy the experience. Be open to it and let it happen when it happens, just like you’re all open to putting in the work now. You will deserve it!!!


 For tomorrow: Back to Lakeshore! 6:05 for drills, 6:15 GO time!


It should be a bit warmer, so let’s take advantage with some 400’s. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they are a necessary part of being a well-rounded runner/racer. (also I’ll post some 5K race options coming up – would be good to just bust some rust and get some hard efforts in – investments!!)


  1. 2-3 sets of (4 x 400 w 1 min rec) – 3 mins bw sets – let’s aim for 5K pace
  2. If you have a spring goal race, finish with 1 x mile at goal race pace (let’s make it ATB or HM pace – even if you’re racing a marathon)
  3. If doing this fartlek style, 2-3 x (4 x 1 min Hard, 1 min Easy) 3 min Easy bw sets – option of 7 mins tempo after


That’s all – see you in the am!