The benefit of being a data junkie who has only ever worn a Garmin for running? Stuff like this…
Data like this tells a story. These are the six full years that I’ve been a runner…the first two weeks of each year. (2013 data starts in July.) I can see what happened with my paces and where I made mistakes in training.
2018 started with the flu. 2017 was a comeback from injury and a triathlon year. 2016 started with an injury. 2015 saw me as an overzealous beginner. 2014 was my first full year running.
2019 started with a gamble. I already had my training plan written, short easy runs with some tempo speed mixed in with lots of bike XT and one swim per week scheduled. But I was sucked into the FREE training plans offered by First Gear for the Chisholm Trail half and full marathons. I stopped by to grab a copy of the plans. It was explained that this was Hanson’s training plan. Initially I rolled my eyes.
I knew the Hanson plans. Back in March 2016, I ordered their half marathon book. I bought a lot of running books in 2016 when I was sidelined with bad hip bursitis. I wanted to fix whatever I was doing wrong. I skimmed through the Hanson book when it arrived. I saw the mileage expected for half marathon training and immediately shelved it and didn’t even bother reading it. No way could I put down that kind of mileage and not end up injured or burnt out within a matter of days.
But speaking with Raquel at First Gear, my eyes were opened. Most new runners, specifically those who pick up the sport as adults, run their easy miles way too fast. And I think it’s for various reasons: slower running takes too much time, running fast is fun, the way to get faster is to run fast. Or new runners skip the easy runs all together, assuming the speedwork and the long runs will get them to their goal.
The seed was planted. Could I really run 30-40 miles each week? If my pace was slow enough, I just might be able to.
And after two weeks, I think I can! My legs are catching up. My shin splints from 2018 are gone. I have more energy than ever before. I feel like myself again. And more than that, I have fallen 100% head over heels in love with running.