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The Pack / Katie Roby

Running My Way

Race and Marathon Prep from Katie Roby

 

I often get asked how I train for ultra-marathons.  “How on earth do you prepare your body to run those kind of distances”, people ask. 

My answers are a bit vague and I suspect a little disappointing to those asking.  I don’t really understand the physiology behind distance running, nor do I keep up to date with the latest training trends and diet plans.  I guess I am a bit of a cowboy.  Meticulously planned and strict training programs don’t work for me.  I have tried, but found them overwhelming.  I couldn’t deal with the guilt when I missed a session and felt daunted by how much I had to do each week.  It made running become a chore.


Of course I train, just not in a structured way.  I have a rough plan in my head, I know I need to build up the distances and incorporate in some strength and conditioning work.  I will keep an ear out for shorter races that I can do in the run up to an event.  I try to run with other people.  I will use race training as an excuse to go exploring and find new routes.  Running is my hobby; I choose to do it; so it needs to be enjoyable.  That said, it isn’t always fun.  There are plenty of evenings where I’m tired, the weather is disgusting and the thought of leaving a warm, cosy house to run 5 miles is a horrendous thought. 


I am no expert.  I am constantly making mistakes.  Overtraining; undertraining; eating badly.  Slowly, my body awareness is improving.  I’m starting to understand that my niggly hip gets worse when I do too much running and not enough strength work.  I’m learning to pick up those warning signs that I need a break; that drained feeling, the increasing frequency of niggles, the inability to run faster than 3mph!  I have to remind myself that my body needs a bit of respect, and beasting it every week doesn’t always correlate with a good race result.


So, I’ve got a bit of work to do before I can satisfactorily answer questions on training!  Things to try out and lessons to be learnt.  I guess it will continually evolve as I age and what drives me to run changes.  In the meantime, I’ve got some more hills to explore!

 

06/02/2014
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