When it comes to improving as a runner, there’s talent, and there’s hard work. Sometimes, the stars align, and both elements are in place. But hard work – and consistency – will almost always get you farther than talent alone. Part of that hard work involves completing a running apprenticeship. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Putting in consistent running and training time – daily or almost daily
- Being open to learning from runners, coaches and other experts who know more than you
- Studying up on running on your own via books, web sites, workshops, etc
- Learning from your mistakes, as well as from your triumphs (I think you always learn more from the former)
- Understanding the holistic aspect of running: nutrition, sleep, stress and life-work-training balance all come into play
How long does an apprenticeship last? …
I was slated to run the Boston Marathon this April, but since I was not “feeling the love,” I had decided to skip it and instead concentrate on speed and shorter distances, which I tend to prefer, probably because I’m better at them. (We all prefer to do things that we are better at.) It turned out to be a good move. I enjoyed a sweet spring season, PRing in every distance I raced (5K, 15K, 10-mile) and even winning #1 female in a 5K – something I didn’t expect to do at age 52,
As anyone who has done it will attest, marathon training is hard work and requires a huge time commitment, not only because you have to run higher weekly mileage than to train for shorter races, but also because you need to devote many hours to building up muscular strength in the gym and/or yoga studio. You have to be in the right headspace to do all this or you will have a miserable time.
After the spring racing season was over, the marathon bug started playfully nipping at my heels again.
What’s the #1 way to become a better cook? Cook every day.
Want to improve your cello-playing ability? Practice early and often.
Aiming to be a better runner? Then (wait for it!): run consistently.
Whether you are an elite or sub-elite runner looking to shave a few seconds off a fast PR or a total running newbie, just trying to break a 10- or 11-minute mile, consistency will afford you more gains than the latest fancy-pants training trend or a pair of sub-2:00 sneakers. Making running a regular habit – and not talking yourself out of doing it – is the easiest way to improve both your running and your mental grit…
Between my trip to Paris and being super-busy with my job, I’ve fallen a bit behind on reviews. But today I have a double feature for you – plus, the nice folks at Stridebox have offered to give away free Strideboxes to two lucky readers! Contest details after the reviews.
if you’re the kind of runner who likes trying the latest running gadgets, gizmos & fuel, you’ll live StrideBox. It’s a great value & a lot of fun – like getting a surprise each month.
After returning from Paris, I felt a bit of reverse culture shock when resuming the fast pace and daily grind of East Coast American life. Of course, I was thrilled to see my 3 little furballs. Plus, it’s always nice to get back to your own familiar space, things – and running routes. But still, I miss the ease and presentness of Paris. Eating French food helps me feel a little more connected to the sense of stillness and gratitide that I experienced during my stay there.
Last week, I posted a photo of some vegan, gluten-free crêpes I made out of longing for Paris. Several of you asked for the recipe, so here it is, along with some filling ideas.
As part of my working vacation in Paris, I thought it would be fun to run a race in in the City of Light. Races are few and far in-between in France, so I had to go with what was available. I registered for a women’s only 10K called “Paris Pour Elles” (Paris for Her).
One of the funny things about signing up to race in France is that you need a doctor’s note confirming you are fit to run. In the US, you just sign a waiver, basically saying if you die, it’s your own damn fault.
This was truly a race scheduled for “fun.” My season was finished. I had met and exceeded my goals beyond my wildest expectations in my goal races – PRing in every distance I raced this spring and best of all, coming in 4th in my age group in the wildly competitive Broad Street Run. I even won a 5K!
So I was tired. My body was creaky and my legs felt anything but fresh. All the signs that I should slow down were there. Even my coach directly told me to back off.
But I didn’t. *rolls eyes* …