I accepted a challenge from another runner, to run every day over the December holidays. He actually challenged me to run every day for a month, but I only had 2 weeks off so I made the challenge to run 6 days a week between 17 December and 3 January. The 6 day/week practice is not unknown to me- it’s the goal of ashtanga vinyasa yoga. And there have been times when I’ve consistently practiced 6 days/week- when I was in Mysore practicing at the KPJAYI. Over those 18 days I ran 12, missing 3 days of running (if I had been practicing, 2 of those missed days could have been claimed as “ladies holiday”, just saying) . Overall, it was a positive experience and has jump started my 2016 training. Here’s what I learned:
- A run is a run is a run, no matter how far or how fast.
- I kept wanting to chop and change, swap out a running session for a cycling session, or a do yoga instead. That’s called bargaining. Instead, I went running.
- I really, really missed yoga.
- My feet took a pounding. I realized if I’m going to increase my mileage I’m going to need shoes with more padding. (More on that later.)
- Once your body (and mind) is used to doing something it will keep wanting to do it.
- All my injuries and problems rose to the surface…and then solved themselves. I started realizing the root causes of some of these issues and am now seeking help to correct them. (More on that later too.)
- There is no such thing as a good run or a bad run, there is only a run. As R. Sharath (current guru of ashtanga vinyasa yoga) said recently:
“You should not be practicing to have a “good” practice, but instead to keep steadiness within yourself. Practice happily regardless of whether it is “good” or not. Sometimes some postures will not be possible, but when you accept the good and the bad and everything becomes equal for you, that is yoga.” -R. Sharath
Last year was all about getting out and running, I wanted to have a solid 5km. I was entering races as often as possible, and really enjoyed getting out into the bush every weekend and making new friends. But I often used a weekend race as my only training that week- and my body and mind suffered. I got slow, and ultimately I think it was the cause of some of my injuries.
2016 is all about creating a sustainable training program that will enable me to stay fit and ready for the specific races I’ve planned for this year. This training “program” is a combination of yoga and meditation to keep the body and mind supple, and cardio training (HIIT, running and cycling) to keep the body capable. It is meant to have variety and flexibility so that I can swap out one session for another. This is especially important because I will soon be adding the requirements of a master’s degree to my 40-hour/week work schedule.
So what’s the training schedule? And what are the special races? Stay tuned!