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A Season for Base Training

2012 March 26
by Jess

It’s happened. I swore it never would or at least thought I was immune to it, but I’m not.

I’ve been comparing my runs and paces to other people’s runs. Left and right other people are setting new personal records while I’m struggling to hit old paces.

There have been years in my life when I ran without racing. I didn’t care how fast or how far I was running. I just wanted to do it because I love it. There have been years where I feared burnout so badly, I under-trained. Now, I’ve reached this sweet spot where running is all I want to do and I don’t remember the last time I was in this space.

One day soon, I too will be setting new personal records, but it probably won’t be during the Spring Season. The winter has been a time for re-building after a season of injury.

With so many opportunities to run races in NYC, I think I often forget that training and racing comes in seasons. We all need training cycles and can’t constantly be peaking at every race. Right now, I’m using 1/2 marathon training as my base training for a late summer 1/2 and a fall marathon.

This means I have to be okay with where I am now and stop having race pace envy. I’ll run fast when the time comes, when my body is ready during race season, not base-training season.

So tell me, do you have p.r. envy? Do you train differently through out the year and divide your training up into seasons or do you mostly train the same way year round?

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11 Responses leave one →
  1. March 26, 2012

    I do seasons – definitely. I think it’s left over from hs and college swimming. I definitely know how you feel – as a new runner, I fall into the comparison trap just because I’m trying to get a feel for the sport. And as much as I know deep down that I do it because I love it, it’s hard to be slow sometimes =)

  2. March 26, 2012

    I don’t do seasons but I’m really now getting seriously into racing after many years of either injuries or lack of passion. I just moved to NYC and whilst I don’t have PR envy- I am certainly noticing that there are a lot of speedsters around!! :)

  3. March 27, 2012

    I’m in a much better place mentally than I was a few months ago in regards to PRs. Right now I’ve realized that my number one goal in 2012 is to improve my NYC Marathon time. Realizing this 7 months out can be a blessing and a curse because it gives me so much time. But, what it allows me to do, according to Gia, is build my speed during the week for those NYRR 4 and 10k races and focus on running slow and easy, at my “happy pace” of a 10 minute mile for my long weekend run. This way my body remembers what it feels like to run at this pace and after building that base for a month or two I can start to include things like bridges and truly start building the mileage when true marathon training begins. I yearn to get back to running a 10 minute mile long run so that I can start marathon training and a 13 mile run feels like a walk in the park that I could do with a friend, slow and steady.

  4. March 27, 2012

    Jess, with what you have been thru, I say you are lucky to be on the path you are! :-) I know that frustrating feeling but if you stick to your game plan to be safe & work towards your goals, you will make it! :-) PATIENCE just like in weight loss & weight lilting!

  5. March 27, 2012

    I sort of came to this conclusion earlier this winter when I was training for my half in March. I had been training all summer and winter for the Chicago Marathon and now I was training again? I realized it made no sense really to expect that from my body so now I’ve started to ease up with focus on getting healthy and building a base for my next fall race. I used to have PR/pace envy when I first started blogging, but now I’m better at not falling into the comparison trap.

  6. March 27, 2012

    When I was coming back from an injury, it was during the spring/summer, the BEST time to be running. I was so envious of my friends getting out there and soaking it in while I was sidelined. But I powered through recovery and it was worth it. Just like you’re doing here — even if you’re bummed not to be racing right now. You’re doing right by your body which is more important! Hang in there!

  7. March 27, 2012

    I totally get PR envy – especially when i’ve been running a while, and my friends who just started running are kicking my tail. Lame. I know it’s a personal record, emphasis on PERSONAL, but still.

  8. March 27, 2012

    I’m jealous of people running just faster than me period. I got pregnant and since having the baby I’ve been struggling to get my run time on my PT test down to where I’d like it. Though, why the army only gives you 6 months is beyond me, especially because I ended up on bed rest for a while. I try to train the same all year round. Abs, arms, and running because that’s what I need to do. Although in the winter I’m usually on the treadmill. I can’t wait until I’m out and I can do whatever exercise I want to at the time.

  9. March 27, 2012

    It definitely hurts the ego a bit to see runners with faster paces than me and achieving crazy PRs. But in saying that I’ve been trying lately to remind myself that running is more about competing with yourself rather than other people. There are so many runners in NYC that there will always be someone faster than you. But I don’t train in seasons, I probably should though now that you’ve brought that up. I used to be a softball player and trained all year around so I supposed I’m just used to that. Maybe I should ease up this summer after my spring half marathons.

  10. March 27, 2012

    I definitely do – I just signed up for my first marathon in the fall, and now all I want to do is read peoples’ marathon recaps. I find myself imagining that my experience will mirror the recaps I read (often from seasoned runners), which is highly unlikely especially for this newbie. I need to remember to trust my own body & avoid the comparison trap!

  11. Cassandra permalink
    April 2, 2012

    If it makes you feel any better, I’m still working on completing a 5k in under 40 mins. So your PR waaaaay better than mine! But hey, at least I’m running, right?

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