Every runner loves the exhilarating feeling of tracking how many miles they ran daily or weekly. Knowing you ran some great distances throughout the week make you proud and push you to go back out there to tackle some more miles. However these can also be the intimidating factors that keep you from going out there to do your run. Those who plan on running anything above a half-marthon are obsessed with the idea of tracking your miles. This makes me question, does tracking your miles and having a schedule of your daily workouts truly make you better? I would say absolutely not! No one else can coach you better than you can coach yourself. What does that mean? Improvements in distance running are not obtained by going off strict guidelines, rather they are obtained by one gaging their body’s condition, emotion and desires. Take me for example, let’s say I want to train for the Boston Marathon.
The above is the Boston course. It’s a challenging and undisputedly long. So today my body was feeling great, even after a hard practice the day before. My body felt great, therefore I knew I would not mind doing another long and hard run. My workout was determined after I noticed I had lots of energy and no soreness. Now tomorrow I could be sore, tired, or simply not feeling another hard run. What I will do is come up with a certain amount of time that I plan to run, then just make that my workout. This is precisely what will make you faster. Why you may wonder? By going off of your body’s current state and not a schedule you can better push yourself on a good day than ordinary day. For example, if you have a hard workout planed for yourself and you are feeling crappy the entire day you will not enjoy your run for one and second you can not push yourself as much as you want to.
This all goes to say, listen to your body and not your schedule. You should balance the days when you push yourself and days when you can take it easy. While it is not a bad thing to track miles, it is not the most efficient, tracking time is. You should plan workouts by how long you plan on running so that on the harder days you can knockout more miles. Before you know it you will be more than prepared for any race because you chose to train smart!
How do you practice for your races? Do you think this approach will work best for you?