Day 802: Things Non-Runners Don’t Understand

I mostly interact with people who are like me. They are runners. I do have other friends but I don’t see them each week. Why I see my running friends every week? Well, we have group workouts. At least on every Thursday and Saturday, sometimes also on Mondays and Tuesdays. Considering how busy schedules most people lead, this means I see my running friends a lot. we have the same hobby, we understand each other. The funniest sentences I have heard come from people who don’t run, some of them don’t train regularly at all. To be completely honest (I know she doesn’t read this blog), the worst misconceptions of training/running come from my mother.

Why do you train so much?

Every time I talk to my mother about the distances I run, she asks why I have to do so long ones. Well, I am a long-distance runner, emphasis on the word “long”. You don’t get good at this if you don’t run long. I remember December 24, Christmas Eve when we had a family gathering. I was itching not to take the very last train (eventually we did) because I wanted to do my next day’s workout before driving 250 km to South Estonia. My training plan said that I needed to run 15 km at my aerobic threshold. I am quite good at this one but I also always dread the aerobic threshold run. This is not jogging. This is a moderate effort for quite a long time. I am always a bit nervous about whether I can last to the very end. And then my mother asked: “Why do you have to do 15? Do 3 instead!” Aaaaaah! Come on, everyone can last for 3 km. The purpose of that training is to last for more than an hour. I don’t even put my running shoes on for 3 km. OK, well I did in the training camp in Portugal. Last year, we had morning runs: to the beach, stretch, back. This was about 3 km. But… a proper workout followed a few hours later, after breakfast and we also ran half an hour (5K) in the evening. So, I did put my running shoes on for 3 km if it was one of the three workouts of the day.

When it comes to running and improving at running, consistency is the key. You do need to train a lot but, of course, also do it wisely.

Do you really run in WINTER?

Well, yes, of course. Winter is the perfect time to prepare for the racing season which will begin around April-May and last well into October. Winter is the time when there might not be that much speedwork. Not at the beginning of winter, at least. Right now, I have quite a lot of speedwork: 3x a week; longer intervals (5 min each) on Tuesdays, shortest on Thursdays (100-200m sprints at the indoor arena), and mid-distance on Saturdays (e.g. 10×400, 5×800, etc. translates into 1.5-minute or 3-minute sprint at a time). I was lucky to spend some of the winter months in the UK. We returned home on December 16. From then on, it has been snow, snow, ice, snow, snow, awful gusts of wind, more snow, freezing cold at times. But I have been running. I just dress in layers, cover my mouth and nose if necessary and go. It could be slippery and cold, but I still go. I have done some speedwork indoors but mostly I still run outside. It’s not that bad. People do go skiing in winter, don’t they? People spend time outside!

I have done my 2nd runs (on some days I have the main training, which is longer and harder, and a 30-minute easy jog) on the treadmill and then continued with some strength exercises. Oh my, isn’t this the most boring thing to do? 30 minutes is not a lot for a long-distance runner. It passes like a breeze when I do it outside. On the treadmill? That’s called torture. I do prefer to run outside, especially when doing my easy runs. I can do speed workouts indoors but then it has to be in the arena, which is a bit less tedious (200-metre lap).

Do you really have to race?

I do. I’m not saying everybody needs to compete but I love it. I live for it. I am not the fastest but I have had my small wins. Some prizes even. I might not go to the Olympics, but I could win a village run or two. Why not? Racing gives me a purpose. a goal to be reached. I am not the kind of person who would like to simply wander in the forest, running. I want to train for something. For the racing season in general. If I was running just for fun, I might not run very much in winter. I am glad I am still doing my 80-90 km per week in winter (current record is 124 km per week in summer). Otherwise, I would probably gain weight. Oh, and the thrill I get from racing? I’m not giving that up! The feeling when you can go fast and then go… that’s called bliss!

Progress Report

1. Own and live in a house.

I ordered some food supplements to be sold at our small physiotherapy-nutritionist practice. Spent some time figuring out how and for what price we should sell them. Browsed for some necessary equipment as well (ad stand). Also, wrote some articles for a big project.

2. Write AND publish a book.

As I was working on other stuff, I didn’t write anything creative. I did write a blog post for my sports blog, it was a tiny bit creative.

3. Win a major race.

Two workouts. An easy run in the morning, a group speed workout at the indoor arena in the evening. We also did some running drills. The second workout lasted almost 2 hours. So… I spent more than 2.5 hours on training. Both went well, I am finally getting over my awful nasal congestion and can function like a normal human being.

Photo of the Day

I wrote about the magic nasal stick a day before. But took a photo in the evening because me and my (running) friends were discussing being ill and shared tips about healing.

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