Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Call to Those With Work Ethic

Its a plateau...see what I did there?

Well, I seem to have hit a slump again. I can usually manage about 3 weeks of decent running, then it falls off for about a week. Several theories on periodization suggest that this is a good thing, but there's one inherent problem with my pattern. Rather than the acceptable and fun week of crosstraining and exercise, the "down" week typically consists of little moving and more moping.

I don't take this as a sign of a total lack of fitness, but it's just not where I'd like to be. I can still string together a decent 5k on a whim and run 20-30 miles without hurting too terribly. Last year, I had a solid few months of training that lead to some success over all running distances. (Broke 17min for 5k, sub 3 marathon, and 7 hours for 50mile). I'd rather be improving upon these times, not struggling to recapture them.

I'm wondering I'm just perpetually unsatisfied with myself. We all tend to romanticize about our "glory days," and maybe this is just me doing that. Looking back on old posts, I seem to have maintained a bit of a frustration with my training, think I'm never as fast, or as consistent, or as dedicated as person x.

Whether I'm being too hard on myself or not, the path to improving upon my current self is going to be paved with consistency. I've gotten where I am, for better or worse, by averaging 40-60miles weekly with sporadic bouts of 80-100mile weeks, typically with a tempo run, a long run, and a (less than typical) track session. For someone who aspires to improve their performance at ultra distances, I'd like to average more weekly mileage.

I realize that an aspiring fitness professional shouldn't act so lost on what to do to get more fit.  The truth is, however, that the intangibles of training go beyond metabolic calculations and biomechanics. Just like VO2 max isn't the sole factor in performance, knowing facts and figures isn't the sole determinant of a good coach. If training were simply numbers based, there would be litte need for coaches, trainers, and doctors. Learning from each other means more to me than maintaining the visage of a perfect specimen.

So, fitness machines, how do you keep the consistency?


  1. The best advice I ever received on this subject was to train yourself like a client, and forget that you're you. If that's impossible (and it kinda is), a coach or a plan isn't a bad thing. Sometimes taking the thought and neurosis out of training makes it more enjoyable.

  2. Hey-
    maybe you need to worry less about how much running you are doing and just make running fun.
    some tips are go to local golf coarse with sled and sled down a hill and then run back up it or dance and sing while on a 15 mile run.
    -best of days- Eli

  3. I'm sure I have no idea how to maintain consistency, only that it does seem to improve over the years for most runners. At least, that's what I observe in the majority of more experienced guys/girls. For me, I just try really hard to not let it bother me, to shrug off a shitty week of running and get after it the next. If I feel like chilling and not running one day, then I need to focus on that just as hard as I would focus on the run (if that makes any sense). As in, I feel really unsatisfied with a day off of running if all I did was spend my time thinking "aw man, i should be running." Anyway, the cabin-feverish Michigan winter will probably end up sharpening your focus into a little laser has a horrible/wonderful way of doing that. Hope all is righteous!