Since committing to training with a running coach just over a month ago, I’m already seeing certain benefits. If I promise to pitch up at training and work hard, he pretty much takes care of everything else. In a way, it’s actually a relief.
For starters, my coach decides on how much running I do in the week. It’s such a weight off my shoulders knowing that someone else is watching my mileage. For a change, I’m not stressing over not having run really long LSDs on a Sundays. And it’s okay just to do 5kms twice a week. It’s in his hands. He has a plan.
Another thing I’m learning is what he means by consistency. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality and learning to read my body.
Ironically, my coach is making sure I slow down a bit. *Wait a minute, I’m in this to speed up aren’t I?*. At the last track session, I felt strong. I’ve noticed that I’m doing a lot more running than walking. Just as he promised, I’m building that strong base foundation first. Speed work can only start once this is in place.
I must mention though that perhaps the biggest benefit is that I’ve learnt to run on grass! For me, the finish of any race is always the worst because it always feels like after running on the road, the grass on the field slows me down and sucks me in. Quite funny that where we train, the track is grass and it’s not that bad. Not that bad at all.
I’m not known for my patience and I wore this like a flashing neon sign around my neck on Saturday morning. It was only my second training session and my new running coach mentioned that he would email me my training schedule sometime in the next week. Without hesitation I said, “And the training will make me run faster, right?” Fail… I could see it in his eyes.
Structure. Consistency. Those are the two words he used in his reply to me. He first wants to set some structure into my running routine and start with the basics. He wants to assess where I am at the moment and what I want to run, and what my goals are. Then I need to get some consistency into my routine and we’ll work from there.
One step at a time and one day at a time.
I must admit, this gives me a chance to gauge where I am too. Here’s what we’re working with:
- My 5km PB – 37 minutes : Dischem 5km race
- My 10km PB – 74 minutes : Vaal 10km race
- My 21km PB – 2h48 : Two Oceans half marathon
- My fastest km – 6:01 minutes
My average pace for majority of my runs is 8 minutes per km. This is the part I want to change. I’m not aiming to run Comrades, I’m not even aiming to run any specific race. I just need to see whether or not I can run faster. That’s all.
Structure and consistency. One step at a time. One day at a time. Oh, and to learn to be more patient. Can I throw that one in as well?
*Image from http://www.rockcreekrunner.com, a great new site I happened to stumble upon*