Thursday, March 18, 2010

Nice 'n easy

I suppose it's time I explain the third piece in my injury-minimizing marathon training plan. The first one was going on run-walks and taking extra rest days as needed. The second was the slew of backup sneakers and post-compression gear I purchased last week.The third? Not timing myself.

Last time I embarked upon a marathon training regimen, I started to get caught up in pace and time. I felt "slow" and wanted to "run faster," so I pushed myself to do just that. I pushed and pushed and my hard work was rewarded with a very nasty and uncomfortable stress fracture in my right foot.

This time, I'm not even thinking about pace. In fact, I'm trying to make a marked effort to run slower than I feel like I should be running. Shorten my stride. Resist speeding up when someone faster blows by. I'll set a course and hit the road and that's that. If I run it at 9:30 per mile, so be it. If I run it at 7:30 per mile... well, I'll never know. I never wan to have to compare one run to another, or my pace to another's - not until I have a very, very solid base.

So far, it's working well. I actually start every run with a mantra, repeated under my breath for the duration of warm-up: "Slow and steady. Nice and easy."

You'd be surprised how easy it is to run slow!