Friday, August 13, 2010

'Cause I'm in Need of Some Restraint

Well - progress continues. Yesterday topped off a solid morning run with a very easy jog then drills and 90 minutes on the exercise bike before today running into work at a decent clip. Really feel that I'm getting a lot more of a range of motion around my ankle joint so positive stuff on the whole.

Interesting day - I usually set aside one day a week where I try to have a beer or two and just relax (that being better I reckon than nothing for a month or two before an absolute blow out). It always seems to bring things into focus.

Had a leaving do for a friend today as she managed to get her dream job elsewhere. Had the following conversation on the way back (my fellow new starters found out about London when I couldn't walk the next day and I made the mistake of telling them the U23 ranking) - "So do you want to go to the olympics" - "well yes, but that isn't happening", "I thought you were the top ranked in the age group", "yep, but all the good runners don't do them this early"(honourable exceptions for Wanjiru and Kebede), "So you're going to get better?" "Well hopefully but I'll still be miles off the pace". Just interesting to see the contrasting views of runners/non-runners. I'm moderately happy with a 2:31 debut but know that my chances of ever running 2:15 are slim to say the least (the only thing that gives me hope is how many of yesteryears runners managed to go under 2:20...) but to a non-runner it's only 16 minutes! It also makes me wonder a bit - given that I've run 2:31 and think I've got a very limited chance at running 2:20 that's pretty much one minute a year at most for the rest of my potential career!

Also interesting to put things in focus. I had a beer. Just the single. And stayed out chatting away etc. It does make me wonder though - how much more can you improve/could you improve if you took it utterly seriously. I'd say I generally take it seriously, but just doing the drills these last few weeks makes me realise how much I could have been doing that I haven't. Instead of going out for a drink I could have done an extra cycle session, another session with the stick (instead of just the usual quick workover), massage on all parts of the leg rather than just a concentrated session looking at loosening an ITB, few more weights, bodyweight exercises, core - there's a whole list out there of things which help you improve and I'd be interested in knowing who out there honestly feels they dedicate their lives 100% to the sport.

I can think of very few runners I know who do. It's utterly impractical. The big one is having to work/study for a living. That's life unfortunately. But maybe, just maybe, that whole-hearted 100% focus is what allows the Kenyans and the Ethiopians to get that extra 1% which takes them clear of the rest of the world. Farah cut his honeymoon short and went straight to a training camp, and he's looking like he has that extra 1% now.

And whilst I know it's impractical, short-sighted and just ridiculous for an athlete (which is stretching it!) of my calibre, you sometimes just have to wonder - "what if I did focus like that, how good could I be?" - before usually settling down for another pint. That said if I can manage to combine running to a good degree (including up to and above 100 mile weeks!) together with a normal life, that'll be for the best without a doubt but I'll still be waiting to see if that hunger emerges to really try and hit the absolute limits. For the moment running a low 31 10k would do very nicely though!

Keep on running and hopefully see you all at the races soon. Albeit not the Olympics!


James Lawler said...

Bryn, I'm not sure you'd improve by the margins you'd expect if you did go 100%. Training is hard and you need an outlet - enjoy a beer!

Bryn R said...

Think you're right James! Just sort of confronting the reality that I'm probably going to be training hard for the next 18 years and in that time if things go entirely to plan I might scrape a low 2:20 marathon! Which doesn't seem that much better than running 2:31 at age 22 off 70-80mpw! Thankfully it's a lifestyle for me not something I do for the rewards.

Know you're having a hard time at the moment with the injuries - would you say it's been worth it over the years?

Aaron Scott said...

Bryn, I think you can run sub 2:20 mate. If you can up the mileage slightly and maintain consistency then 2:18 should be a goal for the next 5 years. You only have to look at some of the guys who admit they are not the most talented runners and who can manage maybe a low 30 min 10k, yet they still can crack out 2:18. Keep up the training and I'm sure the pbs will keep falling.

Bryn R said...

That has to be the aim Aaron and watching the steady improvement of guys like yourself and Ian (imagine you know him as you're clubmates!) gives me great motivation.

Long term goal is to be able to bash out serious mileage (i.e. 120) on a sustainable basis. Part of the reason this injury is taking so long is that I'm deliberately spending a lot of time working on elements so that I can run injury free in the future.

Really impressed by the way you've stepped up over the past year and the mileage you're hitting at the moment is impressive stuff.

Bryn Running

Training diary and musings on running in general.