I am a big picture kind of person. I think in some ways it is why I can see and understand the more dynamic phenomena that shapes historical processes by which I teach. But, as with teaching, I too realize there are small things that are significant. In my effort to reach that next level as a competitive runner, I have learned the importance of doing the small things in training.
- Regardless of my training environment (Memorial Park, Hershey Park, 24 Hour Fitness, HCHS), I always bring a change of clothing. I have found that my body recovers much faster when I am dry; it also adds a sense of completion to my workouts. And trust me, I am known for changing outside of my car. If I can, I always shower once done with a run. The public park makes this easy, especially since my commute is 20 minutes away. The hot water really helps me relax and reflect on how my recent run went.
- I never assume there will be something around for me to eat or drink once done with a run. Carrying a banana and a recovery drink always aids my recovery. This prevents me from overeating after a run. I have also read that said consumption within 30 minutes of a run helps your muscles recover, making it easy to get out for that next run. This is significant for me since I do 2 – 3 doubles a week.
- I never conduct any type of ad hoc runs. I focus on specific goals. This starts with my pace, splits, distance, and repeats. I know what I am doing before I do it.
- Spending time before each run visualizing success has helped me get over the mental hurdles of running 15 to 20 miles on days that I am tired. I ask myself how will this session make me better?
- I see each day as a training day; it is a job; it has to be done. I cannot skip it because I am not in the mood to run, or because I want to get a beer with a buddy. I do not exercise. That is what the average everyday Joe or Jane does. Because I train, I have no choice.