Okay, now that we have that out of the way let’s take a look at the artwork:
As you can see, my average pace climbed way back up from where it was in April. There’s a pretty simple explanation for that: I had a lousy time running.
If you read Phil Maffetone’s “The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing“, then you know that proper endurance training is comprised of three different pieces: the structural (training) part, the chemical (eating) part, and the mental part. My biggest problem wasn’t the structural part, although that wasn’t stellar. I only went on seven runs in a 31 day month. My total mileage for the month was all of 26 miles. Structurally, this wasn’t very sound.
Pace was way up whenever I went out for a run. And by up I mean down. Or however you might say it. You know what I mean. The pace that I set in April as an average was lower than the piece that I sent May. I don’t know if that’s supposed to be up or down but you get the drift. A large contributor to this slower pace was the chemical part. I ate like crap last month. I ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Our admin assistant at work has giant bags of candy lying around. Anybody’s welcome to them. Oh, and I did help myself. My weight was up 5 pounds, my sleep was way way off, and I generally felt like crap.
But while chemical was certainly part of the problem, it was what drove the chemical that was the real problem. Maffetone explains that the triangle that makes up endurance training is comprised of these three things equally. And under the mental side of the triangle exists stress. How stressed you are and how well you manage it is a huge contributor to whether your training well. I cannot tell a lie, work has been very stressful recently. Lot of changes, lot of things up in the air, ergo a lot of stress. With the stress, which has led to lousy nights’ sleep, and with the mental side of that triangle being so weak recently, I just haven’t had the interest in running.
I knew I was having trouble with running recently. I mentioned it previously here, as well as what I was most concerned about: loss of conditioning. I think, in reviewing May’s numbers, and in seeing how June has started out, a loss of conditioning has definitely happened. But the truth is, I just haven’t had the drive, the desire to go out and run. The alarm clock goes off and I think “Sleep. Sleep is way better than running right now.” And with that, I slap the snooze button and roll over. What’s interesting is I’m not the only one. I good friend of mine who is also a runner, a really serious runner, said to me just yesterday “I’ve lost interest.” He’s still running, but he’s got to push himself to do it.
So what to do and where to go with this? In my mind, there’s nowhere to go and nothing to do but to keep pushing forward. I view this training program of Phil Maffetone’s as a grand experiment, a chance to see if, by applying his principles, I can make myself go faster and faster still while avoiding injury and keeping my stamina up and my heart rate down. Can I become a competitive runner? So onward I go. The Maffetone Method is not a quick method. It’s not a two month training program that gets you to the result you want. It’s not Couch to 5K app on your iPhone that gets you to run a 5K in eight weeks. It’s a serious training program that can take a few years for the results to be truly remarkable. And you have to apply all the principles, not just the ones you want. So in addition to actually running, I have to eat better and learn how to manage stressful situations better. The eating better has already started, and since the beginning of this past week, I’ve lost the extra five pounds I’d gained, plus one more for good measure. I’m trying to learn to manage the stress side of things, and trying to keep my head in the game, even when I have to talk myself into strapping on the shoes and getting out the door.
So what to do? Keep running.