Getting it Right
Training has been going really well recently. For the last 6 weeks I have maintained a decent training volume and have had some excellent sessions by my standards. As a fitness test last week I did a 10km run on the track, exactly two weeks after doing the same session. I was half a minute quicker for no extra effort. If anything it felt easier. On Sunday I did exactly the same long run (hour out, hour back) as two weeks ago and by 57 minutes had already reached the point that took me an hour to get to a fortnight earlier.
Whilst this is a satisfying measure of progress, the only measures that really count are race results. In the past I have always possessed the ability to push myself hard in training and produce sessions that look good in the training log, but have failed to produce race results of the same standard. I have become much better at this recently though; I obsess (slightly) less about the numbers and times in training and am able to see the bigger picture. The longer you train for, the easier it becomes to train according to how your body feels as opposed to just doing what you think you should be doing. Being flexible is important; if you need to cut a session short then do, if you need to take an unplanned rest day then do, if you’re struggling with the pace of a session slow it down. It is easy to rattle off a load of common-sense statements like this but much harder to actually enact them. A few years ago I would have ignored them.
The reason I say all this is partly a reminder to myself. I am training better than ever at the moment. All the key elements seem to be there – sleep, mileage, diet, strength and conditioning, quality sessions and all the rest – I now just need to make sure I cash it all in with a race performance to match. Next week I am racing over 10000m at Highgate and am in shape to run a good time. I just need to watch what I do over the next 12 days in order to achieve this.
Good training means nothing without the results to back it up.