When it comes to running I’m fairly competitive. Actually, who am I kidding, when it comes to anything I’m really competitive. This works well in certain situations, but not-so-much when it comes to running training – as I found out back in 2010, when I took my first shot at the Blackmores Sydney Marathon (I made it 33km before my knee and perseverance both gave up). You see, when it comes to running, I give it my all. Always.
The thing is, by pushing myself too hard too early, I typically suffer the consequences later on. As running coach, David Chalfen described to The Guardian earlier this year, ‘your average 3hr 45min runner will actually run very little of a marathon at their marathon pace. They will typically run about 15 miles notably quicker than this, then, as things start to fall apart, about four or five miles at about that pace, then spend the last six miles with major payback for the overzealous opening miles.’ He got me down to a tee.
As race day gets nearer, therefore, it was probably good timing that the latest issue of Women’s Running Australia landed on my desk last week, with a little reminder from Sarah on the number one mistake she sees people making in their long distance running training – aiming for race pace (or faster) in each running session – even their long run. And I have to admit, as I read Sarah’s description of people sharing photos of their latest training pace on social media, my face turned a little red. I like to push myself, and am 100 percent guilty of running too hard and too fast during all my sessions. Ultimately, however, being too speedy can sabotage your running goals.
Running a half marathon is about both endurance and speed. And, like life, training for the half marathon is something of a balancing act – balancing training above and below race pace. This week, therefore, I have been focusing hard on ignoring that voice in my head that keeps telling me to run my best time ever, even on my so-called ‘easy runs’ (and believe me, after a day wrangling children there’s nothing easy about running), and instead work a little harder on endurance (something I have in bucket loads when it comes to repeatedly answering the question, “Why mummy?’). Hopefully by focusing less on my speed, my endurance will only benefit.
Lizzy Fowler |Tuesday 14 July, 2015
Originally from the UK, journalist and writer Lizzy Fowler relocated to Australia with her husband in 2008. Before becoming a Mum in 2013, Lizzy was the associate editor at leading lifestyle magazine MiNDFOOD, and was the founding editor of Sydney’s Live East magazine and babyandtoddlermagazine.com. Now a mum to two young girls, Lizzy balances working-from-home with the full time care of her children.