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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Becoming a Body Whisperer

Three workouts to help you learn to listen to your body's signals

The principle of feeling-based running, one of the five principles that define Lydiard training, and its attendant ability to listen to the body, is often overlooked and undervalued as a running skill worthy of developing, especially in a world where runners are becoming increasingly dependent on technology. Three particular workouts help develop that ability.

Simon Martin, an experienced and keen masters runner, was looking to celebrate his 55th year with a sub-5:00 mile. But when we met last year he was feeling perplexed and discouraged. The more attention he paid to training detail and the more effort he dedicated to his workouts, the slower he was running and the farther from sight his goal was becoming. By his calculations he should have been yielding better results. Simon was beginning to consider whether "old age" had finally gotten its grip on him.

"Any ideas from a Lydiard perspective?" he asked.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gary, that is a profound article. Going into the Xmas break I had great plans for a structured training regime for the holidays, only to have the wheels come off completely due to a mix of physical and mental exhaustion (2010 was a very tough year).

The saving grace was I had a MTB and Glenbervie Forest nearby. So I was forced to simply ride at a pace that I could handle when I had the energy to do so. I didn't know the terrain well so only had total time to focus on.

So with very little riding (about 5hrs per week) plus a lot of diving and beach activities, I actually recovered over the holiday. I also began to enjoy the MTB again with enforced 2hr (or so) solo and very quiet rides at Glenbervie - I only saw one other person on the trails while I was there. In fact I lost exactly nothing in that time from a base or performance perspective, and I think I may have increased my 5min TT power.

I am now back into the riding regime, but will limit structured sessions to no more than two per week for some time.

The best thing about this approach is it lets you get back to why you ride/run/exercise in the first place - the pure enjoyment and feeling of wellbeing.