What makes a run good? Is it the pace? The route? Attitude? The weather? The songs on your iPod? Or maybe a combination of everything?
Yesterday was my last big run day and I set out with the intention to do at least 16 miles. I had run 6 miles on Saturday and so there wasn’t the necessity for me to go and run 20 miles. I was taught a few years ago that runs on consecutive days at the weekend gave the same benefit, if not greater benefit, than a single run of greater distance. For example, my 6 mile run on Saturday and 16 miles yesterday would be as good as, if not better than, 22 miles on its own. It’s all to do with running the 16 miles on tired legs and many elite athletes follow these same principles.
It certainly worked as I felt much stronger in my run yesterday, more energy than any of my long runs up til now and felt like I could’ve done more after I finished. I chose the route I ran last week but also added in the Rhynd Loop for good measure. Anyone not familiar with this loop on the outskirts of Perth, it is far from flat and offers a steep hill regardless of which direction you approach it from and a good downhill section as well. I believe that if you can run that, you can pretty much tackle anything. By the time I got back into the centre of Perth, I had thought about going for 18 miles but I was short of time and wanted to get out to Gleneagles to teach my Metafit class and be able to do the exercises, which would also add benefit to my legs, and so stopped at 16.
Another factor in running well yesterday was that I had managed a few runs during the week from running to and fro my work during the day to mapping out a 10k route for my running club on Thursday. I’ve signed up to the Around The World Blog Relay Challenge this month and that has made me more aware of getting out for little bits on a regular basis. Running during the week has been a bit of a challenge for me so far due to work demands but I’m happy I’m able to fit it all in now.
One of the things I’ve started to do regularly on my long runs is switch off my iPod and chat to my dad. My dad inspired me to run and his death from cancer last year has inspired me to do my big challenge this year. I find my weeks fly by and so I make a point in connecting with him on my runs, tell him about everything that’s been happening for me, thank him for everything and generally share my hopes and fears. I find this to be a wonderful release for me and often find I run better when our ‘chat’ is over and I switch my iPod on again and refocus on my run.
What makes a good run for you?
My song of the week on my playlist is quite apt really. I’m not a big church goer, it’s not that I’m not religious but I’m not a big fan of the formality of going to church and I prefer to say my prayers and give thanks in my own time and like doing it while I’m out on the road running. I connect with the line “This is my church, this is where I heal my hurts”.