March 30, 2021 – Listening

Hi Everyone!


First up, huge congrats to more Achilles runners! Gillian Irving ran her first EVER 5K and beat her 25 minute goal time with a 24:52! Also Jon Feasby crushed his predicted time and ran 19:45!!! Sub-20 club. (he was already a member but from a *short time ago 😉 ) We still have a few to come in, so keep the results coming in to me as you do it!


I’ve had to give myself some reminders this past week, so I thought I’d remind some of you as well (although many of you are probably like, d-uh Seanna – that’s so obvious!)


The reminder is to listen. Deeply. To the outside world and to ourselves.


When I started running in the ‘90’s there were no GPS watches, and you could run with a Sony Walkman, but it was pretty clunky and heavy and only played one tape, so I never tried it. Running connected me with my place and with myself.


I’ve noticed recently that as much as I “don’t care” what my watch says, I know it’s there, and it influences me. There is emotion tied to how I “should” feel at a certain pace – even when it’s not a run without any other goal than to just run. So I’ve started running with just my old digital Timex again, and I’m loving it. I can listen and respond to how my body is feeling without any external judgement or influence. I know about how far I cover in 30 or 60 minutes. If I misjudge my distance slightly, it won’t be by any significant measure that will affect me. I am feeling much more free and in touch with myself and I’m loving it.


The second behaviour I’ve fallen into – more recently over COVID – has been listening to something while I’m running. Maybe I’ve needed the distraction from myself, or maybe I’ve been craving information and a feeling of interaction with others. Either way, it’s become more often than not a habit when I step out the door. I will tell you though: in my 30+ years of running and not listening to anything for almost all of it, I have never once in my life had the feeling of boredom. Not once. And I’ve trained for multiple marathons solo. I feel that by not listening to anything, you become better friends with yourself. Give yourself this one activity to be with just you. You can plug in while doing a billion other things. But there is something about running and actually hearing your own footfalls, your breathing, the birds, the bugs, the wind, the rain, dogs barking, the cars, peoples’ conversation as you pass, that connects you physically to your place here. Don’t tune it all out – take it all in – you are part of it. And your brain loves it. Physical movement and free flowing thoughts and ideas go hand in hand. But not if you’re clogging up your brain with other people’s thoughts and ideas – as good as they might be!


So that’s what I’m doing and I invite anyone who isn’t doing it to join me. Run without listening to gadgets and electronics and data that someone else has decided you might need. You’ll become way more sensitive to hearing things like your own internal cues, you might start to notice which birds live along which routes you run, and I do believe you’ll become a better companion to yourself.


Ok, onto workouts for this week! 2 options depending on whether you’re training for a Half and above, or 5K/10K’s:


  1. Half’s, 30K’s and Marathoners: 8-12 x 600 w 1:30 rest. This looks like a lot, and it is. The key here will be finding a rhythm and not straining. Start at half marathon pace and see if you can work down to 10K pace. Please only do 12 if you’re feeling good and are in a building phase. ATB peeps, you’re coming down now, so keep to the lower end.


  1. As fartlek! 8-12 x 2:30 Hard, 1:30 easy


  1. If aiming for more of the 5K/10K realm: 2 x 800 w 1:30, 3 min, 2 x (4 x 400) w 45 sec jog (or 100m jog), 3 min b/w sets


  1. Tempo option: 12 min, 6 min, 6 min all w 3 min jog


That is all – enjoy and see you on the roads!