Tuesday, March 13, 2007


One of the great things about running and racing is that even if you have a shitty year, you can take a little downtime, rebuild your base and start the following year with a clean slate.

While I wouldn’t say all of 2006 was "shitty" for me, there was a point I went from running “great” (April 8th) to not being able to run (April 18th) at all.

Eleven days, that’s all it took.

While last summer didn’t go has I had planned, I did manage to battle back and run a decent marathon in the fall.

Now it’s time to do it all over again.

Heading into winter, I never know how things will come out on the other side. Of course, I want to run as many miles as possible and put myself in position for a great year of racing. However, there’s a lot of time between November and March and there are a lot of factors that are out of my hands.

Well, the other day I was thinking, “I made it. I’ve survived winter and put in some solid base-building.” With the spring racing season right around the corner, it’s time to see what all my hard work corresponds to.

A few weeks ago a friend of mine said, “I think it’s going to be a great year.” I have to agree. That’s the sense I’ve been getting lately too.

I hadn’t been able to put my finger on why, until I came across something in a book last night. The author was talking about gumption and its role in racing well. He talked about building momentum, as in having your training and racing build throughout the season. For example, he talked about doing a baseline workout 3-4 times during the year. That’s nothing new. However, you only do these workouts when you know you’ll run better than the last time.

The same goes for races. If 5K is your key distance, you don’t do it every week. You jump in some shorter races to get faster and some longer races to get stronger. Then when you know you’re ready, you jump in another 5K. That way your gumption is always high and you’re always building your momentum.

If you’re not sure what gumption and momentum are, check out this race report. I think it’s safe to say that Thomas’ gumption and momentum are very high this week.

Unfortunately, my interview gumption has been low lately – too many other things going on. In the meantime, check out this interview of the D-III National Champion in the mile. Speaking of National Champions, I do hope to have an interview ready to post soon of a Minnesotan who just became a D-I National Champion. Stay tuned.

Quote of the day;

“How fast, or where you finish, doesn’t necessarily count for everything. But how you raced against yourself counts for almost all. Inevitably, most runners eventually conclude that the race is against themselves – and how you conduct yourself in the face of adversity, or how you bounce back from defeat, can often mean more than a time or place.” – Mark Will-Weber


Thomas said...

Hey thanks! Is my gumption sky high right now? Actually, my legs are a bit too stiff and sore to say for sure, but I very much hope the momentum will carry on for my next race!

qcmier said...

Great thoughts on gumption and momentum. Yeah I've had some baseline workouts but never really incorporated them quite that way.