Ric - I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on the questions you posed. I was at one moment coached by someone who ran in the commonwealth games marathon (2.17 PB). I ended up over trained and had to take several months downtime to recover.
As Bob suggested it was indeed a very windy 5 mile race for me today. I put all thoughts of a fast time out of my head during the warm up and just focused on trying to run strongly. There were a few guys from the club running so I had a couple of targets to race. Ended up with a time of 29.22 which is about 50 seconds slower than my PB but I was up and around those I should be. I just managed to beat my clubmate who ran a 59:30 10 mile race last weekend. Everyone's times seemed to be significantly down so probably a decent performance despite the time. Hopefully this will sharpen me up for Fridays 10k and I'll keep my fingers crossed for more favourable conditions.
Ric – Thanks for that. Have you ever had any significant periods of downtime over the years? And do you think breaks are important?
Mcflooze – I have a 5 mile race on Sunday. Looks very windy! Still its mainly a tune up for upcoming 10ks. Good luck with the dreaded long MP run!
Runner – Of course it doesn’t have to have a strict purpose but then no one is saying it does. Yes if you want to get faster in an effective manner you have to give some thought to your training. If you are not bothered about this then of course you can just go out and do whatever you feel like.
I run for many reasons and improving my times is only one of them. I don’t find that trying to get faster is incompatible with any of the other reasons I run. I can try and get faster and still run just because I enjoy it or to de-stress. The 2 aren’t mutually exclusive. As I have an interest in getting faster I like to discuss and think about what training I do. You may consider it fretting but for me that’s enjoyable. You are projecting your own feelings onto others by assuming running with some kind of structure makes people miserable. It may make you miserable but that doesn’t mean it’s the case for everyone. Yes if may be true that life has no meaning. So we can either give up now and put no effort into anything since none of it matters anyway. Or we can set out own small goals, work out what’s important to us and make our own little bit of meaning.
Marrows - Really sorry to hear that. At least you have a definite time frame for recovery and useful things to fill your time with!
Ric - Interesting point on longevity. What do you think the key is to running well long term? I'm still (just about) in my 20's and would like to think I can still be running well in 20 years time. I can think of a few examples of people who have hammered the miles and burned out after 10 years or so.