I was so glad when the clock ticked thirty minutes. I was smoked. It was my second run of the day bringing my total to 12, and 39 miles for the week. On a Sunday night no less. It’s the highest mileage I have put together in a week since 2004. Healthy mileage.
39 miles in one week might be impressive. It’s the weeks of 40 miles over time that really brings out the magic. There is honestly no easy way except to put in consistent work, and the ability to back it up week after week after week.
This isn’t a new concept, but it’s a forgotten one. Lydiard, and my favorite triathlon resource Gordo have it well documented. These days I see athletes get caught up in the quick fix, or the system that gives them the most reward in the shortest amount of time. It works for a while…… then they are on the couch.
It’s taken me M.O.N.T.H.S. to get to this place. Consistent weeks of carefully applying an aerobic load, and recovering to absorb that load. I have come a long way and I have a long way to go. But man I am loving it.
My strength before I got caught up in so.much.data. was my intuition. I learned as a swimmer that there is nothing in this world stronger than it. Nothing. No watch can teach it to me. In fact, the way to learn it, to truly learn it…. is to turn everything off.
Your body knows what easy is. It knows what hard is.
I don’t want to write a race report next season about my normalized power or my Vdot. That’s not racing. Not to me. I will be writing about the chase, the race, the nose to the grind effort that can’t be recorded. It’s that primal instinct that has guided me all my life. And man oh man do I miss it.
To build back to that though…. takes great patience. It takes turning off and tuning in. It takes the easy miles strung together day after day, week after week, month after month. I am loving every second of it.
As I am approaching my first 40-mile week in so many years, I am doing it with caution. After every run I bike 1-2 hours. I roll out my legs like it’s my job. I put in the band work on my legs. Right now everything is to build up for the marathon. And the funny thing is, the marathon isn’t of too much concern to me. I suspect I will run 4-5 hours. It’s the goal I set to help me develop a strong, injury-free, solid running base. I am not a marathoner, I am a triathlete. But this…. this is what’s helping me find my way ….. not find my way back….. but write the next chapter. There are some starting lines coming, soon.
Man I am feeling good. I am having that missing out feeling as I announce these races. Good… I tell myself. That means the fire is still there. It’s just a growl right now and over the next 10 months, we are going to fan it. Nice and slow and steady.
This process takes time. For me it will be over a year. You have to be patient. You have to be emotionally strong and free of ego. You have to allow it to develop. You can not overthink it, in fact don’t think about it at all. Just love the journey and where it is taking you.
Love the possibility again instead of the expectation. Get curious about what you can do if you do it right and you do it in such a way that you never rely on a power meter or a calculator or anything but that instinct so deep within you….. make it so you never have to rely on that ever again.
As I penciled in my paper training log my totals for the week, I smiled (and yes…. pencil and paper). Through a few words, I captured the feeling of being able to complete such a week. I reminded myself that the real magic comes when we string these together, and we are well on our way to chasing some monster goals.
But this time…… intuition leads.