The other day I posted the following on twitter:
Several people tweeted back that they agree. Then several knowledgeable elites said that elite athletes should do the same. I took these replies as great criticism of the post.
In 140 characters I said something that I thought would be helpful, especially for people training for Boston or for high school coaches entering the outdoor season. For the elite athletes the answer is a Both, And as some days I’ve seen athletes go extremely easy, yet there are some elites that crush it on their second runs and easy days. To me, this is a function of training age and the higher your training age the better the chance that you can do a harder recovery run. But again, I don’t thinks it’s an Either, Or, but rather a Both, And for the elite athletes. Some days you run ridiculously easy on your second run or on your recovery day, other days you feel good and you go a little faster…and you still recover at that faster pace.
The previous paragraph is much longer than 140 characters, but it does a better job of fleshing out the concept. I still like the simplicity of sharing my thoughts and sharing links on twitter, but there is a lesson in that tweet that I’ll need to consider moving forward: pretty hard to write the Both, And tweet.
I’d like to close on the related issue of intuitive running. That’s one of my goals over the coming months – to help people understand the importance of running by feel. Checking in with your body the first 10-20 minutes of run to see what is appropriate for the day. Takes a lot of practice, yet most runners don’t even consider this approach as a possibility, so they spend years grinding out workouts and long runs. They run the run the same pace week after week on their recovery runs, some going so far as to have PRs for their easy runs. Learning to run by feel, by intuition is so important if you want to continue to improve and if you want to stay injury-free.