Friday, September 15

'Scrawl it on the inside of your eyelids...'

Is the magic in the coach, the schedule, or the runner?

I'm beginning to think that the greatest gift a coach can bring to the table is the ability to encourage people to train consistently over time.

Yes, there is the technical aspect of knowing/feeling numbers and quality of reps and intervals and hills, but the most important thing is to keep people at it. That's where "the schedule" comes in. You get it once a week and know roughly what you'll be doing when... it makes it easier to find the time and to motivate yourelf knowing that there is a purpose to it AND a group of people waiting for you at 5pm!

In the group I have been training with, the schedule calls for 40-50 miles a week covered in 7 days (no rest day). But I've averaged 33 miles a week for the last year and don't know anyone else who has totally followed the program. Yet we've all improved.

Thanks Emilie, for the comments that helped me get clear about this. It follows on from Kevin Beck's words from the last post. Please follow the link in that post (below) and read his article... if you are a runner it'll do you so much good. Here's another snippet to encourage you (the emphases are his):

"Patience, trust, resilience, and the ability to learn from past experience
are the greatest psychological determinants of success in long-distance running, just as they are in other realms. The greatest physical determinants are, regardless of your event, an aerobic base developed through years of accumulated mileage and - just as important - consistency (a by-product of resilience, both physical and psycho-emotional). Believe this philosophy, scrawl it on the inside of your eyelids, live it, and regardless of your inherent abilities, you'll look around one day and be pleasantly astonished at your own improvement and achievements.

Pared down to the essentials, then, hard work and confidence are all a distance runner truly needs. I have found that regardless of whatever permutation of miles, intervals, tempo runs, hill workouts, and long runs I settle on for any given stretch of training, the thing that matters most is nudging your total time spent training ever higher until you find your personal "sweet spot" and only then, when you're ready to attack a period of racing, become truly concerned with intensity."

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