Recently, Amazon.com got the best of me and I ordered a few new running books (because who ever buys just one thing when online shopping? Not this girl…).
I’ve been wanting to read RUN: The Mind Body Method of Running by Feel (by Matt Fitzgerald) for a long time – a lot of my running/blogging friends have found it to be pretty helpful towards their running and mindset.
I’m only 80 or so pages in, but am already digging what seem to be the overarching theme(s):
- Running and training is extremely individualized (i.e., 100 miles/week works for some people, 50 works for others, etc.)
- Runners can benefit from relying more on their intuition when deciding how far to run and how fast
It seems like a no brainer, but I for one am definitely someone who can get caught up in a training plan and set mileage or speedwork goals for the day or week. Sometimes I think it’s easier for me to ignore what my legs are trying to tell me and push until I’ve met whatever goal I have for the day.
Not that I think we shouldn’t push ourselves during workouts, but what I think Fitzgerald is trying to say is that sometimes our bodies intuitively know how fast or far they can go on a given day. We just need to hone in on that and listen to them more, and understand that deviating from a plan is ok.
Aside from the mumbo jumbo that may or may not be going around about “listening to our bodies,” I think he has a great point. When I set out for a run without any sort of pace in mind, I’m often surprised that my legs seem to get a little speedier as I go along and it doesn’t seem as hard as when I’m consciously trying to run at the same pace.
Has anyone else ever experienced this?
I’m definitely intrigued by this theory, so I decided to try it (somewhat) on this morning’s scheduled tempo run. Instead of following my plan exactly for four tempo miles, I’d run at whatever pace felt comfortably hard this morning.
Interesting… Usually I focus on 3-4 miles at a sub-8:00 min/mile pace, but on this run my legs were feeling a little beat up and there were a lot of hills in my route. I forced myself to not look at the Garmin so much, which was really hard! But I’m pleased with the run overall. I felt pretty strong during most of it, rather than wanting to die after my last tempo mile.
Not sure I’ll do this for every tempo run, but it was a good experiment!
Breakfast – Kashi Heart to Heart, strawberries, blueberries, almond milk
I’ll report back when I finish the rest of the book!
I’m excited to delve into the other one as well – Nancy Clark is a sports nutrition superstar and definitely someone I look up to (as in, I would like her career someday). I want to read this one before classes start in September to get me all excited for lots of nutrition-related studying.
Question: What are your thoughts on running by “intuition” rather than following a set plan? Do you/would you do it? Favorite running book you’ve read recently?