Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pace Vs. Effort

This morning's tempo run was tough. My training plan called for a specific pace per mile and I was behind on every mile.

I could also say: This morning's tempo run was successful, I was able to maintain the effort level I needed throughout the workout.

Like Captain Barbosa, I tend to look at pace as a guideline rather than an actual rule. So when I fall short on pace I look for the possible reasons. Today, I had to stop due to a dog on one of my miles, on another mile, I am unsure of the exact spot on the road that marks my turn around place, on another mile, the whole path is up challenging hills. On some days, it is too hot, on others I didn't get enough fuel in the morning.

On some days I nail my pace, and on some I go even faster while having the right effort level.

In short, when I run, I see pace as an outcome, rather than a necessity. I use pace (fake goal) as a guideline to make sure I'm not slacking off, but allow some flexibility due to conditions.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Elite Runners Don't Run Barefoot

Elites don't run barefoot.

At least, that is what a lot of people say when trying to tell me I should get some real running shoes. The standard response for the minimalists/barefooters is to bring up Abebe Bikila, then the other person says, yeah well he beat his own record when he put on shoes, and the argument goes on.

The truth is, elite runners, or elite anythings, by the time they have become elite have figured out a formula that works for them. Likewise, elite coaches, by the time they have become elite have figured out what works for their runners. The late barefoot, and nearly barefoot running craze is a recent phenomenon. Perhaps, in the coming years there will be some elite barefooters or minimalist shoe folks, we will have to wait and see.

Answer number two. A lot of elites do run barefoot and in minimal shoes. They will do some barefoot training sessions and they will race in racing flats which are fairly minimal. These things are tools in their toolboxes.

So the moral of the story is, find what works for you. Find what makes your body feel good and perform well, fine tune your training and train like the elites do.