Running for fun?
Saturday, June 15, 2013
I listened to a talk by Christopher Mc Dougall today and he raised the question about whether we are running for fun or to run a good time.
I have always been firmly in the camp of running for fun and my very slow times, showing my aversion to go through any significant discomfort in training, have been proof (although there were some health issues (dairy intolerance) why my speed did not improve much).
Having recently joined a very family-friendly track team, I have started adding a little speed work to my training. The aversion to dealing with discomfort is still there. I have done some 200 meter repeats but nothing longer which would have been more uncomfortable. In spite of this I have had some improvement already. My pulse stays lower when doing uphill walking on the treadmill.
Today I ran a 5 K by myself (on the track, which was boring but easy to measure) and my splits were 10:15 after the first mile, 21:30 after the second mile and total time at 3.1 miles of 33:50.
This is better than I did 2 years ago at the same time of year (last year I had surgery and could not run).
Still, to reach my goal of a 5 K in under 30 minutes by late August before I turn 50 I'll have to improve quite a bit. Today's run was not horrible but it was not exactly fun either.
So this is my question: How can I make this more fun? Doing sprint workouts with other runners is actually fun, but I don't want to do that more than once a week, since I'm also still planning to fit a trail half-marathon in in September if possible, meaning I have to fit in increasingly longer long runs.
I'm considering simply doing more trail running with my dogs while largely ignoring my speed and then just doing sprint repeats once a week. I'm sure there are better training plans that have more variety including tempo runs etc. but I'd hate to have to do them. If you are slow like me the fun is in the running because it sure won't be in the winning.
Chris Mc Dougall's point in his talk was: Enjoy the run and when you get fast you'll have had fun getting there and it won't matter any more how fast you are. Do you agree?