Why do I do This? – Week Beginning 11 June
Below is part of a message exchange between me and my friend Tim yesterday:
I know this feeling. I have had this feeling recently and am neither the first nor the last athlete to ask themself such questions when a race goes badly.
Running is a strange sport. Failures outnumber successes by a significant margin and the most typical type of race is a humdrum, routine one, where it goes neither well nor badly. So why do we do it? In my opinion there are two strands to this question; the first is ‘why do we run at all?’ and the second is ‘why do we compete?’
The first can be answered in a multitude of ways to do with happiness, wellbeing, a sense of purpose and all of the other reasons runners typically give when asked why they run. The second is much more difficult to answer. Although those perfect races when everything comes together are few and far between, if you do the right training and commit yourself to the sport they happen just about frequently enough for it to be worth it. In fact, it could be argued that their scarcity is what makes them so special. If we didn’t have bad races we would never have anything to put the good ones into context or allow us to appreciate them. Any more frequent and we wouldn’t enjoy them, any less and we’d probably all quit and so something more rewarding.
Tim is going to have a great race very soon.
Monday: AM 10km easy / PM 12km easy (22)
Tuesday: AM 9km easy / PM grass session 1,2,3,2,1,2,3,2,1 minutes with half previous effort recovery, 5*25s off 60s (26)
Wednesday: 16km easy (16)
Thursday: AM 9km easy / PM track session 10*400 off 3:00 in 63,3,3,3,3,2,3,4,4,3 (23)
Friday: rest (0)
Saturday: road session 10*2:00 off 90s, 9*50m hill sprints on grass (14)
Sunday: AM 13km easy / PM 10km easy (23)