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June 19, 2011

Reflection Time for Motivation

When I reflect back on last year I can see a huge change. I haven’t really trained a lot this year, but It is coming together. So far this year, I didn’t run at all in January. In February, I ran an average of every other day with a total of 66 mile. March I injured by back and didn’t really run until about half way through the month. I still managed to get 42 mile in the second half the month. April I had a race half way through and then quit running again. 50 miles was covered in the first half of April but quit after my race on the 16th of the month. May, as many of you may know was a pretty busy month for me. I managed to squeeze in 9 mile for the month of May. September and October of 2010 were pretty big running months for me last year, but with all the slacking off I have done, it’s hard to believe I have retained it all. The phrase “miles in the bank” are ringing in my ears. I can’t help but to admit that I have retained some, but I’m looking forward to what I can build up to for this upcoming fall.

Last June, I only ran 12 miles mostly due to the heat and lack of motivation. May of 2010 I ran 23 miles compared to this year’s 9. So I think the June comparison is ok to look at. Jun 12, 2010 – 2.61 miles – 23:20 – 8:55/mi. Jun 17, 2011 – 2.00 miles – 15:02 – 7:30/mi. Yeap, I’ll take that. Have you taken the time to see how far you’ve come? It may be a lot better than what you think. Now that I have gotten faster, I need to figure out how to maintain that speed for longer periods of time.

I’ve been thinking about heart rates and running lately. I keep seeing people post about running in zone 2 or zone 3. Every site I look at will have a different definition of what that heart rate should be. Even if I find out what my true maximum heart rate is, the zones will vary. A typical comment is that I need to train in the aerobic zone. Then I see an article about Crossfit’s Brian MacKenzie. It seems to me that he trains for short periods of time but at a high intensity. Then it hits me. When we want to train our legs to be fast, we work them at a high intensity. The heart is a muscle just like the ones in our legs…well not just like it, but it is a muscle. I wonder if we can train it to have endurance to pump at a high intensity for extended periods of time as well. So why not train at a heart rate above the aerobic zone. As long as we have time to recover, it is possible isn’t it?

Well, I don’t know what I’m going to be doing during this phase of training. I do know that I’m going to be listening to my body. When it’s tired, I’m going to back down a little. When I’m feeling good, I’ll speed up a little. I think our body knows more of what is going on than our head does anyway. 

So for me, looking at where I was last year and comparing it to where I am now. I’m pretty pleased. However, I know I can do better. My next goal is a half marathon under 1:44. That will be a PR by 6 minutes. I’ve got until December to do it, so I’m thinking I’ve got a pretty good chance. What do you have plans for? How far have you come? Keeping track of your runs will give you the motivation you need to keep going and the encouragement you need to know you can do better.

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