Continuing with my 30 Days of Gratitude, I am thankful for the joy of all those boring miles I run!
Day #20 – As I have said – BORING!
Back when I started this blog I was conflicted – I was planning to talk about running and ‘healthy living’, but wasn’t planning a hardcore running or foodie blog. At the time the blogs I most enjoyed were ones written by runners with more to discuss than just running.
At this point I have stopped doing weekly summaries, occasionally do monthly summaries, and generally just keep track quarterly. I do like looking back over time and see how I have been feeling and what I have been doing in terms of runs and running. And of course I love getting comments and feedback and getting to read others’ insights.
Oh, and this:
I mean, because hugs are always good, right? Even sweaty, gross, post-run hugs! 🙂
Most of all … I just love running. Not racing, ‘training’, talking about running … just getting out and running. Not running FOR something, TOWARDS something, or whatever … just running.
And this week I have once again passed 3000 miles for the year!
I really thought that last year with 3150 miles (2012 was just under 2000 in 9 months) would be my peak, but this year I managed to keep up my mileage all summer in spite of not doing ‘doubles’ and never running on a day Lisa and I were both off from work.
But this past week I was reading comments on a running forum, I was reading some posts that were criticizing some running bloggers … and in particular a theme emerged about miles – that they need to have a PURPOSE, work towards an OUTCOME. Basically three opinions were formed in the comments:
– You should be getting much faster
– You should be building endurance to run longer distances without crashing
– Or … WTF, knock that crap off running those useless miles!
I can see their point – assuming we each only have so many running miles in our legs, why not put them to specific use? And it was pretty clear that the people with very strong opinions were young (20s or maybe early 30s), race-centric and very competitive. So the idea of ‘junk miles’ is clearly unappealing to that crowd. In that ‘junk miles’ post I had the following thoughts:
There are also three REALLY good reasons to focus on maximizing your training efficiency in fewer miles : injury, burnout and frustration.
If you are injury prone, or recovering while training for a new event, every mile can make you more prone to getting injured. And if you are getting stuck in a rut of doing the same thing again and again, chances are you aren’t improving and might be getting burned out and lose interest in your training. None of this is good.
So my advice would be to ditch someone else’s definition of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ miles, figure out based on your own personal experience what YOUR balance of ‘quality vs. quantity’, and develop your own optimal training plan … regardless of how someone else would judge it.
And for me … even as we had three days with air temperatures in the ‘teens’ this week including a sub-zero wind chill day, and once I got myself properly bundled up – I was happy to get out and run my miles. Yes, I am still doing a minimum of 7.5 miles per day, generally 6 days per week, long runs on the weekends and so on. And I still love running – it is not work, not a chore … and that is part of the reason I never consider myself ‘training’, because that sounds hard! I’d rather spend my weekends on an 18 mile fun run with hill repeats than on TRAINING …
How do you feel about reading running-specific blogs? Do you feel miles must have a ‘purpose’?
Um, yeah … you’ve probably never heard THIS one before (based on the number of Run ### Run blogs, anyway … )