A rainbow is built color by color, not unlike your training. Here’s the running rainbow breakdown:
Red is Consistency. There is no super secret to getting better, it’s just hard work done day in and day out over months, years…you get the picture. Dedication and self-motivation are two the biggest things that will determine the amount you success you achieve, that really goes with anything. You can’t fake it, do what you love; if that’s running then set your goals and run for them. But be prepared for all of the curmudgeony, blah, tedious days too; they will be there and in those times you have to remember WHY you run and then get out there and do it.
Orange is Base. That great big old engine, your aerobic base; we’ve got your long runs served up piping hot with a side of hills and a great big pancake feast post-run refuel. Distance runners thrive on those endurance challenges…there are those runs where you step out and get lost between the miles, but the times where each mile seems to be excruciatingly endless too. There are the ones done with a great group and even in those shared moments of silence you’re getting to know each other in a unique kind of intimacy only training partners will understand.
Yellow is Tempo. The tempo runs and the long intervals, the main course workouts so to speak. These get you ready for those middle miles of a race, the majority of it; getting you used to race pace so that you can handle it come the big day. What’s your pick of poison, milers, 5 mile tempos, 1000’s, 10 mile tempos? Only this time the poison is lactic acid and it’s a matter of getting your muscles accustomed to handling as much as possible.
Green is Mentality. It’s often you against yourself when you come right down to it; sure there are your opponents, yes there is the clock, but before you can beat any of them you have to beat yourself. You have to face the doubts, that voice in your head telling you you can’t, screaming at you to stop, to give in, to relent. You have to look that bit of yourself dead in the eye when the moment comes, tell it to shut up, and keep on pushing.
Blue is Injury. It’s a necessary evil, they happen to every runner. We can do all we can to avoid them but they do come with the territory. When they hit it’s a matter of retaining sanity, dealing with them, and getting proactive. Cross-train, rehab, get better and get back. A large part of getting back is also mental, a string of injuries can ruin a runner if they get hung up in the depressive mindset. These injuries are tests, how much do you want to get back…the cheat sheet is to stay positive and take one day at a time.
Indigo is Speed. Yes, even the most fast-twitch muscle devoid distance runner needs speed, at least the ability to shift a few gears even if they don’t think it’s by an incredible amount. Have fun with these 200’s, the 400’s and 600’s…yes, fun. We may get blown away by real sprinters but it’s all relative. If you fear the track then forget the watch and just go; test yourself by running faster for the pleasure of the wind in your hair and slipping into a quicker gait. Take away the pressure and surprisingly you can fall in love with the sprinter-side of yourself. Then when you do see that clock again get cozy with a faster kick and enjoy the new PR.
Violet is High. The elusive runner’s high, the days when everything clicks. These are the crazy days that you can’t plan no matter how scientific you go about things. You’re just ON. They may fall on race day and bless you with a PR that feels ‘effortless’ but they could be random days too. Hold tight to the memories of these days because in the end these are what we are all chasing, they are what make all the crappy, leaden-leg filled days worth it. The ever quest for the days when you meet your best running self and for a brief moment in time you’re one and on the best run of your life.
Running and training, just like the rainbow, is built color by color.
1) Pick a color and parallel it to running or your own training.
2) Could you pick one of the colors and meaning I gave it and relate it to yourself? Which one is your favorite and why?
3) Consistency is the building block of training, how do you stay consistent?
I know I’m a happier, better person when I get my sweat in for the day. 🙂