Friday, January 21, 2011

Growing accustomed to being tired

Tired Runner

I've heard it said that to have a really strong marathon performance, it's important to grow accustomed to running fast despite fatigue. You have to learn to embrace and almost enjoy the fatigue, because there is not beating it. There is only working with and through it.

I'm becoming convinced that this is a big part of the Pfitzinger training plan I'm using to prepare for the Colorado Marathon. The plan includes lots of mileage, much of which is accumulated in relatively long runs that are done two to four times/week. After three weeks now, I'm growing accustomed to the mileage, or am I just growing accustomed to a higher baseline level of fatigue, and running faster and longer on legs that are always at least a little tired?

I suspect that it's the latter that's going on. The Pfitzinger & Douglas training philosophy really appears to focus on teaching runners to run well, despite static fatigue. Along the way, you have some crappy tired runes you barely get through, but invariably there are then runs where despite a little fatigue you have a really excellent and fast training run. You go from questioning yourself after a few crappy tired days, to suddenly feeling like your goals are well within reach when you have a really great run out of the blue.

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