I chose to close out my 2014 season with a marathon, so Katie and I have been working closely together to allow for both proper recovery from Lake Placid, and a solid marathon build (This is the part that those who know me well just fell off their chairs seeing the word "recovery" in a post written by ME. Miracles do happen, my friends...).
When my first long runs started popping on the schedule, I couldn't help but laugh a little, while simultaneously scratching my head. It was a lot of "wait - you don't want me to just go out and run at a steady pace for 2+ hours?" mixed with "I have to start off at what pace, and do how many 15 minute repeats, and then end up with a FAST mile? You DO know that I own fly and die method, right?". I have been running marathons since 2004, and I would guess 95% of my long runs have always gone like this: Run hard, scream to the world how awesome I feel at mile 10, sit on the side of the road and throw my shoes somewhere around Mile 16, and walk home. I looked a whole lot like this. Always.
And today, my long run looked like this:
60mins building to/hanging out around MAF
4 x 15mins at MAF+10/5 mins easy
20 mins building down to X:XX min/miles
10 mins FAST
10mins easy/cool down
Wouldn't you know, I finished the run feeling like I could keep on running. It's amazing what happens when embrace change, trust in a process, and 100% believe in your coach's plan.
While I don't know what's going to happen in terms of time when I go after that finish line in December, I do know that despite the finish time on the clock, I have made more progress this year as a runner and athlete than ever before. And as long as I'm patient, and maintain vision of the long term plan, I will continue to grow and mature as an athlete.
Its that time of year where athletes are building their 2015 schedule, and searching for a coach. My advice to those athletes? Find someone who you can trust, one million percent. You must believe in the philosophy and the plan, if you ever expect that athlete/coaching relationship to work. Find someone who you click well with on a personal level. Having that coach know you and your life inside and out is essential to success. Transparency is key - feel comfortable over communicating with your coach. Think long term - can you BE patient? Are you willing to take 1-2-3 years to achieve your goals?
Change is hard, absolutely. However, I believe that some of the best things can come from closing your eyes, and taking a gigantic leap outside your comfort zone.
Happy training or off-seasoning!
|Obligatory picture of Caitlyn and I, because why not?!|