Here’s what I’m starting to realize about quality over distance

I ran a total of 17 races in 2015 and in between that, over 200 runs, either track sessions or runs from home. This is according to my Strava activity log. It was the year I ran 2:44 (my PB’s) for Pick ‘n Pay, Sarens as well as Kaapsehoop half marathons. By the end of the year I was exhausted. I was tired of running and when I started 2016, I couldn’t find that running mojo again. Hey, it happens and I did consciously decide that I would rest a bit and focus more on improving my form, as I’ve shared in my blog post about sessions with my bio, Mari.

One of the insights that came out of a session with Mari is that I should focus on shorter distances for now, while I strengthen my legs and core. As she put it, “There’s no point running half marathons every weekend, hating the run and not being able to walk for days afterwards.” She suggested that I rather run shorter, manageable distances, but use the run to focus on key elements of improvement. She was right.

I’ve realized that, for me, it’s not about the distances, but the quality of the run. While I don’t have any big distance running goals like KK to run Comrades, my running is currently for enjoyment and improvement. It’s taken a few weeks but when I was analyzing my Strava results, this slowly started to sink in. Here’s what I started to notice:

  • I am able to get home from work and run 3kms easily and still get  back sweating and bursting with those amazing feel-good hormoneseasy-run-3km
  • Running the shorter races requires less intensive road trainingkaapsehoop-10km-race
  • I am starting to see real improvements in the races I’ve runrac-5km-race

Seeing these results has made me feel excited and motivated and has also helped set proper goals for 2017, knowing what I need to do this year. 

Sometimes, we are too focused on the wrong things and before we look, we’re disappointed that we didn’t see the results we wanted to obtain. 

It only takes a bit of slowing down and self-assessment to get back on track. I’m also running more km’s under 8mins/km. Did you see that? *grinning*

6 thoughts on “Here’s what I’m starting to realize about quality over distance

  1. Hi. I ran the Two Oceans Half Marathon last year and missed the cut off by 4mins. This year I aim to make up for that. I was just wondering if you know the intervals the 3hr bus runner runs at. I ran with him a bit last year, and if I recall they ran for 3mins walked for 1min. I’d like to do my training at the same pace, so I can keep up with him. Thank you.

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    • Hello! 4 MINS 😦 Oh No! so close! I’ve been in your shoes before. Missed it a few years back. So, I noticed about x3 buses last year and suspect they ran different strategies. I’d contact Two Oceans and ask for their names. The bus drivers usually will let you know what they run. There’s also sometimes crowds of people who run a certain pace and making a bus with them helps. I usually say that I need to run 7kms in one hour. That gives me 3 hours with gravy. GOOD LUCK!

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