Training vs Running

My day started with a 4:30am wake-up call in Charlotte, NC. I took an early-morning flight home to Rochester, where I was greeted by stiff winds and temperatures in the lower 40s. I went straight to the office and worked most of the afternoon (no time for lunch), then headed for home with six miles on the training plan – only to find this scene awaiting me.Training vs. Running - I'd rather curl up by the fire.

As tempting as it was to curl up in front of the fire, I changed into my running clothes, headed out the door and got six miles in. I was at the stage of the plan where I was no longer just running. This was clearly Training.

The Mickey Miles Podcast spent some time discussing Training vs Running (Show 98 and Show 104). I thought I’d add some of my personal observations. The biggest differences I’ve noticed are:

The overall time commitment

As training mileage increases (in my case from 15 miles/week to close to 40 miles/week), the time devoted to pounding the pavement increases. I had expected that the training programs would be difficult physically, but I wasn’t fully prepared for the amount of time I would need to devote to running, especially in the last 2-3 months before a marathon. It precludes most other hobbies (and in some cases, sleep).

The devotion

Most training plans require an increasing number of miles over the last 8-12 weeks until the race. To skip a scheduled run in favor of sitting in front of the fire would bring instant gratification but would put me off schedule and potentially derail the training plan.

The boredom

Not exactly a Hidden Mickey, but almost a secret message from Walt Disney himself!I’m not really a big fan of running. As I embark on the long runs in a marathon training plan (16 miles… 18 miles… 20 miles…) I find myself increasingly bored. I typically listen to podcasts and I’ve tried audiobooks, but after about 90 minutes I start counting down the time until I finish (although I did find this neat secret message painted by a utility crew in our neighborhood to help encourage me).

 

Fear of injury

My number one goal since starting running, my prime directive, has been to avoid injury. I’ve had a couple of issues pop up (IT Band pain and plantar fasciitis) caused by either running too fast or too far. Each put me on the sideline for a week or two. I can’t afford that to happen toward the end of a training plan, so I often focus during a training run on sticking to the plan and avoiding the temptation to do more than the plan calls for.

I know that if I follow the Training Plan, I’ll be successful in completing whatever race is ahead. But toward the end of a training plan, I usually look forward to being done with Training and going back to just Running for fitness and fun.

Chris Smith

About Author:

Chris Smith, a.k.a. @DopeyRunr, started running in 2013. He has since completed the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Dopey Challenges, several other marathons and half marathons around the country.

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