Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Approach

What??? You're telling me a guy in our running group has completed 168 marathons? And another guy has run 140 ultramarathons. That's insane!

Prior to the last 2 years in North Carolina, I lived most of my adult life in Denver, Colorado. Several of my friends regularly ran Leadville's 100 mile run and some also ran Hard Rock, Western States, and other similar crazy runs. They were hard core. They pretty much dedicated their lives to training. But they trained for a very small number of specific races. No one ran 168 marathons and no one ran 140 ultras. No one raced excessively at any distance.

But eastern runners seem to be different. With significantly shorter driving distances between the cities and states, a Charlotte runner can enjoy the best races throughout North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and even up into the DC area. And with so many options, people here tend to have the "so many races, so little time" attitude. Consequently, a good number of eastern runners race more and train less.

The "Denver Approach" served me well as a young competitive racer. I targeted and trained for a specific race or race season with a goal of peaking at the exact right time. And that formula still works for me today. However, the "Eastern Approach" has me contemplating a change. Why push myself to the verge of injury for one big race? A lot of things can go wrong. I'm not young anymore and I have nothing to prove. Why not enjoy some of the many popular eastern races I read about while living in Denver? Life is short. So many races, so little time.

But I question whether I could be happy with my racing times knowing I could have run faster with better training. I don't really enjoy racing people any more, but I do enjoy racing the clock. And I love setting and meeting challenging goals. So in the end, I'm probably not ready to completely abandon my "focus and train for one big race" approach. However, I do need to make baby steps toward the "so many races, so little time" approach. I need to relax and enjoy more runs rather than racing them all. But have I changed my attitude toward running 168 marathons and/or 140 ultras? Nope. That's insane!

My apologies to my friends Jeff and Bobby, but you guys are nuts!

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps more frequent races would result in less intense nerves. And I agree, those guys are nuts!