Thursday, November 5, 2009

My lack of existence

According to most marathon training programs, I do not exist.

 

I don’t stretch.

I don’t train with weights.

I hardly ever do speed workouts, and when I do they’re pretty short.

I never run hills.

I rarely run more than 3 or 4 times a week.

My mileage rarely tops 35 miles in a week.

I don’t do “tempo” runs.

I don’t run Fartleks.

I don’t consciously carbo-load.

I don’t use energy drinks.

I don’t use energy gels.

I rarely drink sports drinks.

I don’t have a heart monitor, and therefore don’t know when I’m at 90% of my ideal heart rate.

My “long, slow runs” are neither long, nor slow.

I don’t consciously taper before a big race.

I don’t warm up.

I don’t cool down.

I run almost exclusively on concrete.

 

Basically, I do everything they advise against, yet still manage to run long distances and have completed one marathon with the second on its way without any significant injury to my muscles, joints, or bones.

 

Basically, I don’t exist.

 

Sure, you can say “it’s just a matter of time before…”  But you know what?  If you wait long enough, even Olympians get injured.  And I’m willing to bet real, American money that most of the Olympic runners have been injured more in the last 6 months than I have.

 

Basically, my training program is to get out there and run.  Run as far as I can, as fast as I can, given the time constraints I have to work within.  If I have an hour to run, well, I need to go out there and run for an hour.  If that’s 3 miles, then it’s a 3 mile run.  If it’s 6, then a 6 mile run.  If I can finish 8 in that time frame, then I’ll go after 8 (and thus far I have never been able to run THAT fast, for THAT far).  Sure, on the weekends, when I have more time, I’ll give myself a specific distance target—go run 10 miles, cover the distance, no matter what.  But on a typical weekday evening, or morning, when I have to get back to the house ahead of either darkness or in time to go to work, then I have to either leave early—which is precluded by sleeping or driving—or adjust either the speed or distance.  And you know what?  A 6 mile run at 9:00 per mile is probably as good a workout as a 10 mile run at 12:00 per mile.

 

Of course, I can’t prove that.  I’m not a coach or anything.

 

But, then again, according to most coaches I don’t exist.

 

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