It's been a fascinating few days watching the UK's best runners and the UK's newest runners undertaking their respective running challenges. My Carphone Warehouse, Average to Awesome #cpwa2a have a fantastic thirst for knowledge and are making huge strides in their fitness journeys which is wonderful to be part of and watch.
At the upper-end of running, it's seems to be a whole lot harder... I spend a lot of time talking people OUT of racing, training hundreds of miles and taking them back to their early days of running just like my #cpwa2a runners. Successful ultra or marathon running is dependent on successful periodisation and peaking for an event planned hopefully 12 weeks in the future.
I'm seeing more and more folk falling into the 'too many races - getting slower and slower' regime than ever and there's very few mortals that can run more than one good 100 miler, 24 hour race, 100km and marathon in 12 months and then repeat it the next year...I see some trying but it takes time to recover, both physically and more mentally. From my observation post, it's blatantly obvious and after a run of disappointing results it's far too easy to blame everything except yourself for not resting and having some time out.
If you are in need of the evidence, look at those who ARE succeeding and look at THEIR results and see how often they race, who's coaching them, who's advising them on how to train. Their results speak volumes.
I'll honest about my own running in that I plan for two peaks a year (Spring and Autumn) and the rest of the year I am recovering or in training for the next peak, oh and ENJOYING MYSELF. Right now I'm running steady back-to-back 3.53 marathons at even pace and happy with that. In fact, I'm still recovering from my 28 in 28 last year (oh yes, it takes time to get over a month of ULTRAs), the Barry 40, which was the focal point of my Spring '14 and the Marathon des Sables. so how on earth would I expect to be able to run a 100 miler right now as I'm not in the right frame of mind to do so.
Lots of people I meet think they can and having someone else on hand can help you achieve so much more. I'm really lucky to live with a great athlete and one whom doesn't react well to high mileage and regular long distance racing. At times It's a tricky path to Coach your partner but we've found a way of working together and her results and achievements tell the tale. I've drawn inspiration from her too, which has improved my race performances too.
Does the above sound a familiar story? If it does, you are over-racing and trying to achieve better race times when you are fatigued. Being tired is telling you that you need a break and it could help your running and your enjoyment no end. In the past few years, I've seen a lot of people appear on the ULTRA-scene, achieve, do too much and then disappear never to be heard of again and it's tragic to see as a Coach.
Do you remember how you felt when you first started running...My #cpwa2a guys are proving a great inspiration to my running!