What I talk about when I talk about running #2
RECAP: Last week I wrote a post titled ‘What I talk about when I talk about running #1’, a reference to Murakami’s book of the same name. Originally I intended to write a review of the book but this idea evolved in to Steem blog post series featuring vignettes from Murakami, and how these resonate and relate to my own running experiences. It turns out there’s an active running community on Steem, so thanks to everyone who left encouraging comments and upvotes on my first post.
This week I took another look at qualifying events for the 6-foot track marathon, which I’d like to enter in 2020. There are a few alternative options (regional events) to the obvious ones. The regional events look like trail runs which I haven’t done since high-school cross country so that’s something that appeals to me. The 6-foot track marathon is a trail run, so it would be better preparation than the more obvious road runs. I’m thinking of entering the Bilpin Bush Run (August 24 - 31.45km), which is just after the City to Surf so the timing is good.
I love Murakami’s ‘slow’ approach to running and training — not ‘slow’, as in running pace, but slow as in gradual incremental improvements as a result of hard, slow graft. Last weekend I donned a pair of earphones for my run for the first time in ages. As an aside, I wanted a pair of EarPods for my birthday this year but the week before my birthday my wife found an old pair of iPhone earphones in the cupboard that worked (mine broke), so I thought ‘Oh well, I can use these. I don’t need EarPods. Maybe I’ll get some when this pair of earphones breaks’. Later I remembered that one of the reasons why I first wanted EarPods in the first place was so that I could wear them to listen to music and podcasts while running, and I thought ‘Boohoo, I should have asked for those EarPods so I could wear them running!’. Back to last weekend ... that was when I realised it had been so long since I’d worn ‘old-school’ earphones I hadn’t even considered that they were adequate for running. I’d been sucked in to the Apple consumer trap! ... so on Saturday morning, with earphones on, I set off with a spring in my step. ‘Wow’, I thought, ‘these headphones make me run faster!’ ... until they didn’t, until my legs ran out of juice. Then on Sunday I pushed myself pretty hard too.
Here’s how Murakami’s explains the way he pushes himself:
You have to let it (your body) experience intermittent pain over time, and then the body will get the point. As a result, it will willingly accept (or maybe not) the increased amount of exercise it’s made to do. After this, you very gradually increase the upper limit of exercise you do. Doing it gradually is important so you don’t burn out.
On Sunday night I started to feel a bit weird. I didn’t have the appetite to eat all my dinner (this never happens!). I started feeling all hot and cold. Maybe my body had decided that this was too much, too soon? Perhaps. I felt pretty rotten on Monday morning too and had to take the day off work. Perhaps it was just a virus I’d caught from one of the kids at school. But then on Tuesday morning I felt perfectly fine. Weird! Whatever my body was trying to tell me, I’m interpreting it as a message to do what Murakami says - make gradual increases over time to avoid burn out.
Gradual increases over time - today I ran a little further
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