Tuesday, February 24, 2015

The Intentionality Quest & Mile Repeats

I was talking to a friend of mine today about "Intentional Parenting" and really just discussing the ways that we both want to be deliberate in raising our daughters to rise to the challenge of being strong, independent, respectful, kind, humble, sincere, [you can insert any appropriately positive adjective here].
The conversation led me to think about my training and specifically what it means to be an Intentional Runner. Notice I didn't say "fast runner" because well, I'm not a miracle worker. But being an intentional runner (to me) means making a deliberate focused attempt to train properly and safely. Knowing my body. Understanding my performance baseline. Respecting my limitations but not limiting my performance expectations. Appreciating that improvement comes from hard work and not from chance...
I have no illusions regarding my abilities. I've long given up the dream of being an elite runner and representing Brooks on the cover of a Runner's World magazine (although if that offer is ever extended I will definitely say yes!). I've also modified my Olympic marathon team dreams a bit because well, who was I kidding? I would never be able to get that much vacation time from work! Oh, and also I'm not that fast (maybe the fact that I'm not that fast has more to do with not making the Olympic team than the vacation time issue. Maybe)...

But no amount of dream modifications or "double digit minutes per mile" limitations should (or will) stop me from being an intentional runner. Being intentional and deliberate in my training will result in improvement in my running...
It may take a while, and I may never win an age group award (unless I'm the only one in that age group). But that's not the only reason I'm going to be intentional, and it's not the primary reason either. Intentionality helps define the type of individual you are. It forms the basis of the type of individual you will become. Whether it's in your training, as a parent, at work, it doesn't matter. Intentional people accomplish their goals. Period.

When I first started running (in June 2013) I couldn't run for more than 30-45 seconds before my lungs and my legs were screaming for a break. My walk breaks were very sloooooow recovery walks before I attempted my next running session. Now I'm able to run for much longer durations and can restart running before my walk break is over. But that's only because I was a disciplined, dedicated, and determined runner. I was intentional...
I lost sight of that for a while and started to focus on where I wish I was instead of how far I've come from the runner that I was when I started. And while I make no promises that I won't have another "I wanna run faster and farther" meltdown in the future (and maybe even in the near future), I'm really going to try and focus on being intentional in my training at the present moment and trusting that the endurance will come, along with the speed, as I journey towards achieving my Bucket List goals...

This morning I did a few mile repeats, which ended up being somewhat of a "speed" and "form" workout session...
Mile 1 @ 6:10 - I focused on mid-foot striking (with 2 walk breaks for about 30 seconds)
{cool down walk}
Mile 2 @ 6:24 - I ran using my normal heel striking running gait non-stop
{cool down walk}
Mile 3 @ 6:37 - I ran non-stop again (heel striking again)
{cool down walk}

Tomorrow is a cross training day. I should be in the gym (that's the current plan), but a lot will depend on what time I get to bed tonight (I have final assignments to grade for the last online class I'm teaching). 

What are some of the ways you stay focused and intentional in your training?

What's your favorite type of speed workout?

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree that being intentional is what will lead to sucess


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