Wednesday, September 02, 2009

FIT VS. FAST

The other day I was trying to figure out if I liked being fit more than being fast. You have to be fit to be fast, but you don’t have to be fast to be fit. It seems like trying to be fast takes too much work and it ends up sucking the enjoyment out of running. I’m not sure it’s worth it any more. Or maybe I just haven’t figured out how to periodize my training so that I’m not struggling through August every year.

My friend Eric has asked if I thought x-c skiing during the winter helped my running this year. Although I came into the season slower than normal, I thought I would make up ground as the season progressed. That never seemed to happen. And I thought not running as much in the winter would leave me eager to run more throughout the summer. That did happen, at least for awhile. But once August rolled around, running was still a struggle.

I’ve always had this fantasy of being more than “just a runner.” I dream of being more like Jan Guenther and being able to excel at everything from tris, skiing, mt. biking, snow shoeing, kayaking, etc. It’s not even really about excelling at them. It’s just about getting out and doing them without worrying about losing running fitness. Even within running I find myself thinking about trying different things like trail races, ultras, relays, etc.

It’s too early to tell where all these thoughts will lead me right now, but I’m sure I’ll have more to share in the near future.

Quote of the Day;

“The key is that I control my life; my life doesn’t control me.” – Gabrielle Reece

8 comments:

Get Primal said...

Ah, interesting post. I currently feel more fit overall than I've ever been, but am definitely not as fast. I like the fit much better than the fast.

Dr. 26.2 said...

Read yesterday's Personal section of the Wall Street Journal on the woes of hard core training as you get older. Trying to maintain performance levels and training schedules becomes the source of frustration and injury. Eventually alot of athletes just quit.

AZ said...

Currently I enjoy the hard work that it takes to run fast (well, fast for me). It all goes in cycles though.

Beth said...

I enjoyed your interview with Jan. She is a friendly face at so many events and so supportive of our community. She is also an inspiration for us not so young gals. I got some roller skis for Christmas last year and still haven't tried them out. I should take your lead and get out there with them!

Thomas said...

Why don't you go ahead and sign up for the next trail or mountain race? It's not like jumping off a cliff, you already have a pretty good idea what would be in store.

As someone who ran his first mountain race this year, pretty much on the spur of the moment, I can only advice you to just do it.

Emily said...

I always admired your outlook on running because it doesn't seem emotionally driven for you, and I see you as an accomplished runner; someone to take note from. But it seems like however you perform, it just is. You take note and move forward. No complaining. And I complain and whine sometimes, but then I think - remember Chad - just do your best, that's all that's required. I guess my point is, that it's refreshing to read that even you have ups and downs but you leave the complaining out. I can do more of that I think. That's just my perspective anyway.

SteveQ said...

I went from road 10K's to trail ultras and am now am training for a mile on the track. There's always another challenge in running; that's what I love about it. As for running to be fit - I always recall my grandfather when he first saw a jogger saying, "If he needs exercise, why doesn't he just get a job?"

Chad said...

@Adam, yeah running fit and overall fit are 2 different things. Maybe I'll strive for overall fitness for awhile.

@Dr., I don't think I'll ever quit running, maybe just quit racing.

@AZ, yeah it's definitely cyclical, I'm just on a 2+ year downward cycle.

@Beth, that's a pretty nice Christmas present to not be using.

@Thomas, maybe I will - although there aren't any "mountains" around here.

@Emily, that's so deep I hardly know how to respond. I'm sure I do my fair share of whining. However, when you've been doing this for as long as I have, you've pretty much seen it all.


@Steve, I guess it's just about finding the right challenge that motivates you at any particular moment. And my dad used to make similar comments when I mentioned lifting weights; "I've got some 'weights' around here you can lift." Referring to chores around the house.