Jun 18, 2014
Today I did a very easy and short run. This was planned, and I’d like to mention a little about why.
For the past ten or fifteen years, I have been gradually increasing the average length of my daily runs. I feel this policy has been instrumental in developing the stamina I required to successfully run around the world. However, it came at a price.
The price was speed. When you run reasonable distances every day, the body never recovers fully. In some respects, I have always been at least moderately tired for the past decade or more. As I mentioned, this helps to build stamina, both physically and mentally.
But recently I’ve found it very tough to incorporate a speed work routine in to training while maintaining the volume of distance. So I’ve decided to go back to my methodology from younger years – work harder on some days and a lot less on others.
This is allowing me to feel much fresher and able to perform a higher quality session on my hard days. Doing so results in improvements in speed that would not be possible from lower quality sessions performed under fatigue. It also provides for greater training variety from day to day, which is psychologically beneficial.
To summarise, if you want to build endurance and stamina, do lots of running as often as possible, even though you will need to be “running tired” much (if not all) of the time. However, once you have the stamina (which I certainly should have by now), allowing yourself to freshen up so you can work harder and feel better on your hard days will result in improvements in speed.
That’s my philosophy, and one I’m currently putting to the test. Tomorrow’s 5 km time trial will provide some data that I hope will back me up. Last week’s 3 km time trial was done tired, the outcome of which was also in accordance with my theory.
On This Day
Jun 18, 2012
Distance today = 50.08 km; Total distance = 7983.51 km; Location = Floodwood, Minnesota (15 km east of) – 46 55.603′ N, 92 42.842′ W; Start time = 0848, Finish time = 1657
Another solid 50 km day. I am finding it easier to stick to this distance than to vary the distances too much. The morning was cool and overcast, while the afternoon was sunny, hot, and humid.
After passing through the town of Floodwood, I started down a minor road – Highway 8 – which turned into gravel. I’m on it now, and there’s no way off for the next half day or so. It’s pretty good for a dirt road, though.
Today was another when I crossed both a parallel (47 deg N) and a meridian (93 deg W). I must be making progress.
Jun 18, 2013
Distance today = 60.54 km; Total distance = 21,729.34 km; Location = Yellowdine, WA (35 km east of) – 31 16.203’ S, 120 00.934′ E; Start time = 0735, Finish time = 1713
Today was my first run over 60 km since April 3 last year. I felt pretty good for most of the day, but the best I felt was during the last 3 km. Why? I don’t know, but I’ll take it. Perhaps it’s because Grace was running with me.
It was very chilly when I started out. In fact, the car’s windscreen was completely covered in ice this morning. But I’ll always vote for cold over heat when it comes to running weather.
I am now running on one of the most remote stretches of the whole run so far. It is 186 km from Southern Cross to Coolgardie, and I’m planning on completing it in three days. So far, so good. Between Yellowdine and Coolgardie, a distance of 156 km, there is absolutely nothing – no towns, shops, petrol stations, or anything else – just scrubby bush. There will be a bit of commuting to and from my stopping points.
It feels a little surreal to be running from Perth to Sydney. It is one of those iconic trips for drivers, like Route 66, but running it makes the whole experience that much more unique. Despite the lack of variety, I’m really enjoying the run so far. I hope I can say the same after the Nullarbor.