Over the past few weeks my running training has been all track based. Primarilly so that I can work on my mental focus for running longer distances. However, I have still found myself at times being drawn to how far I am running and hoping that each time I run I will go a little further each time.
My last run was without doubt the best run that I have had since I began my new training block. I ran the same time as I have for the past few weeks but I did not cover the same amount of distance; so how could it be my best run? Because I am now becoming one with my body and fully understanding how it feels when I run at a certain tempo and I am also losing the desire that I have to go further and faster to make the training session count. The fallout from the lose of this desire is that my body will hopefully produce improvement at a greater rate than if I continued to try and improve my distance every time I ran – let me explain.
Exercising itself does not produce improvement it is merely a stimulus which causes the body to make the improvements. The amount of energy and resources the body uses whilst exercising increases in proportion to the intensity of effort. Recovery from and adaptation to exercise is also very metabolically expensive, requiring significant energy and resources. It is therefore necessary to limit the volume of exercise to the minimal amount required to stimulate the desired improvements saving energy and resources which the body could use for recovery and adaptation. The point being that if you push your body continually hard, you will reach a point of diminishing return and your body will fail to make the improvements that you are expecting. From this you will push harder again, and harder again, and then push yourself to overtrain and lead to potential injury.
So, the next time that you go for a training session remember that it is not the training that is producing the improvement, it is only providing the stimulus that causes the body to make the improvement. If you use too much energy, there is the potential for your body to not fully improve, therefore it could be said that ‘less is sometimes more’
Have a fit and healthy day