I have to say this week is off to a great start. We had temperatures in the mid-40s which is pretty much spring weather for Erie, PA. I took full advantage and decided to take my first run of the week outdoors.
I did an old out and back course that I’ve done a hundred times before for a total of 4 miles. It was amazing. I didn’t care about pace or time. The only thing that I focused on throughout the entire run was how I felt.
Have you ever ran to simply just run? You run without a goal or a plan. You just ran for the complete enjoyment of running. It’s relaxing and so freeing. Workouts are a must when your ultimate goal is to get substantially faster, however not every run has to be hard just because you are in training.
I decided that in order to help me not jump too quickly back into a pace/mileage focus I would set goals that had nothing to do with either of them. I would select 4 liberal personal running goals that had nothing to do with pace or mileage and keep those in the fore front of my mind during my gradual progression back into running.
Switch Up My Course
I am creature of habit (I think I’ve mentioned that a few times haven’t I?) and once I find a course I don’t deviate. I like knowing where I am going and not having to think about where my next turn is.
On dark mornings or for quick runs this can be great but after a while it begins to take the fun out of the run. Instead of heading out and exploring the wonderful things to be found outdoors I trudge through the same streets day in and day out.
My goal is to do at least 2 runs per week where I just got out to run. I won’t have a course planned – I will just go and run wherever I feel like going. I know the area around me well enough that I won’t get lost, and there is nothing better than “exploring” during a run. It is a great way to slow yourself down and take in the enjoyment of running.
Focus on Form
We’ve all heard how important form is right? It’s easy to say but hard for many people to do. Ever since I took my first running step after being injured I have been focused on my form. I know part of my injury was due to poor form. I knew that when I came back this had to get corrected.
I focus on one step, one stride at a time. I aim to land mid-foot and avoiding heal striking or over striding. These are both things that can lead to injury.
Another benefit of focusing on form aside from becoming a better runner? It passes the time. My goal is to use these easier runs to really perfect and focus on form. This will allow me to make improvements that will be vital for when I begin adding speed work back in.
Stop Focusing On Perfection
I read a quote once that said, “strive for progress not perfection.” This is so true to me. For years I wanted to be the “perfect runner” I wanted to attain crazy goals and I wanted them now.
Obviously there is no such thing as a “perfect runner.” We all makes mistakes now and then. My goal instead is simply “progress.” I want to progress in a positive way. It doesn’t mean that each day I get quicker or each day I hit a new PR it means that I progress towards my goals slowly and that I become a smarter and stronger runner.
Today after my 4 mile run and some lunch I headed back to the gym to do strength training. I strength trained for 30 minutes and it was hard, but it was progress. It is small step in my gradual progress towards becoming stronger.
Run My Own Race (or Training)
I’ve always had a problem comparing myself to others. My husband, other runners, other bloggers and I always wanted to train like they train or run as many miles as they run.
My goal for this new “start” as I like to think of it is to simply train for me. We are all unique and for that reason we all respond best to our own training. I can still reach my goals and do things my way instead of copying someone else. I love getting motivation and training ideas from others but at the end of the day I know my own body and I know what I should and shouldn’t do.
It’s time to embrace myself the way I was made and train the way my body can handle best.
Goals are great, but when they are always related to pace or distance sometimes it takes the “fun” out of it. Don’t get me wrong, I will always have a ultimate pace/marathon time goal in mind. Eventually I will have a mileage distance during the weeks, but it doesn’t mean I have to be a slave to it.
I want to be able to embrace the craziness of life and all the joys that running can bring.
Tell me, what is a non-pace or distance running goal you have?
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