It’s the Training, Stupid

By: Sam LaBrie

We’re still in the first half of May, but it feels like spring is almost over.  The days are longer and the humidity is increasing.  Most of us in Carmen’s group are done with the 5K/10K training and are moving on to workouts for track races.  I’ve been reflecting on the past 6 months or so of training and racing in hopes of improving my approach.  I ran a bunch of races and here is how I rate my performances:

  • Good:  Maze, Chuy’s
  • Bad:  Cactus Rose, El Sendero, Lockhart
  • OK:  3M, Tangle

The common features of the good and OK days are that I was well prepared, with a fair amount of race-specific training, and the humidity was low.  Carmen has been telling me that, in order to improve my times, I should focus on a particular category (short road races vs. long trail races) rather than switch around.  I’ve realized that what I like about 5K/10K training isn’t so much the races, but being with a group of friends and running hard and fast workouts.  As in most things in life, the journey is almost as, or even more important, than the destination.

I don’t know how this realization will affect my running goals for the next 6-12 months.  Maybe I need to give up on trail races for a while, at least until I have the motivation to finally train for and tackle a 100 miler.

Some highlights from running outside of Austin:

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Mt. Diablo state park in California.  This mountain sits between Oakland and the central valley.  I did a 15 mile trail run there in December- clear, cold, with beautiful views of the valley and the bay.

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A path along the Leeds/Liverpool canal in England.  Dead flat, for miles.  I did a couple easy runs along here, plus a hard tempo.

Screen Shot 2014-05-15 at 1.39.59 PMRegents Park in London.  A big park with incredible gardens, plus the London zoo.  I ran 16×400 on a path here, with lots of strange looks from the locals.



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