How An Average Runner Qualified for the Boston Marathon Part 4: Speed

Speed Speed Speed.

Track had been noticeably absent from my marathon training plans for a few years. It seemed to be a main cause for my injuries, so speed training had been relegated to a minor portion of my schedule and was done in the form of tempo runs during the sharpening phase — about 6-8 weeks. Other than that, I stayed off the track and followed the common strategy that increasing mileage would build up my speed. Well, as mentioned in the previous post, I significantly decreased my mileage…so where was the speed going to come from? Yup, it was back to the track. And hills. And speed and agility work. More stuff I had either never done or neglected to do for several years.

Continue reading “How An Average Runner Qualified for the Boston Marathon Part 4: Speed”

Don’t Call It A Comeback

Listening to podcasts has been an effective way to get through a pool running session. If you’ve never pool run, imagine the lack of scenery and fresh air of treadmill running combined with the absence of a runner’s high, and you get the idea of the unique mental challenge that agua jogging presents. One podcast I’ve enjoyed listening to is “High Performance Mindset” hosted by Dr. Cindra Kamphoff, especially one recent episode in which she interviewed Dr. Mustafa Sarkar about his concept of resilience. Dr. Sarkar has done extensive research in this field and worked with many elite athletes, and it’s his position that resilience is not the ability to bounce back from a setback; rather, it is a proactive — rather than reactive — skill. More specifically, Dr. Sarkar’s work posits that resilience is the ability to use personal qualities to withstand stress and to maintain functioning under pressure, thus, there is no setback to come back from. This definition of resilience resonated strongly with me as tomorrow I finally return to running after being sidelined almost five weeks due to a freak injury. Continue reading “Don’t Call It A Comeback”

So You Think You Can Run

It should be natural. Put one foot in front of the other and go. It’s not that complicated, right?

I guess for most people this is true. And honestly, my form probably wouldn’t matter too much if I was running shorter distances, but the marathon distance has been humbling for me in many respects, and this may be the latest lesson. Upon reviewing my most recent marathon photos, it’s easily noted that they reveal more than just the unlikely occurrence of a hobbit shuffling down the streets of Ventura, they also highlight a few issues. But I jump ahead. Let’s dial it back. Continue reading “So You Think You Can Run”