I just got the February Runner's World in the mail and one of the first articles that caught my attention was about "less is more" training programs. Most of you probably read it (The Slow Road, click here to read it if you haven't), so in a nutshell, the experts are advising less training in order to achieve more. I like what the author says about the most common mistake runners make - set up a high goal and give themselves very little time to achieve it. End result? Injuries! I won't go into much more details about the article but do want to tell you about my "take home message". It's the best advise I've ever read. Elite and recreational running coach Greg McMillan asks people to think where do they want to be next year. That concept, that single question will make you train safer. In fact, he recommends giving yourself at least 1 year to train for big races. Rather than focusing on immediate satisfaction and ramp up speed or mileage, take it easier but do it better over the course of 12 months. It makes a lot of sense but it goes against what I are used to (work harder to get better results or no pain no gain, etc). I find following this slower approach a challenge on its own and I know a lot of runners who will agree with me.
Another great point was about training while living your (real) life. According to the author, ALL training programs are made assuming your are "100 percent, 100 percent of the time". This means that these programs do not take into consideration work, family, stress, colds, flues, injuries, etc... It is up to the RUNNER to factor in those other responsibilities and decrease effort and mileage on weeks when life is taking over. I like that, I will definitely follow it. It means I have to change my thinking a bit as my favourite time to run is when I am stressed at work... I can still do that, just that I have to go for a shorter (or slower) run or even a power walk if I want to let steam off. So, yes, I like this approach. I will do that from now on :)
As for today, a 5K (5.5 with warm up/cool down). A bit faster than my last run, no pain, all good! Yay!
Question for all of you (my new thing now is to ask daily questions :) : What is your training program? Slow and steady or fast and agressive?