With online school, I have decided to ramp up my running much more and I believe if I continue training into the future, I may be able to reach a competitive level.
Firstly, I have increased how many times I run a week, and the workouts I do on these runs. In the past few weeks I have been struggling to actually get myself up and out of the house to run, both physically and mentally. This was never a problem before spring break, and I figure it was due to a lack of momentum. When school was ongoing, I ran every single day in one way or another as I had PE on weekdays, soccer on Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Saturday’s, clinic runs on Thursday and Sunday, and track on Tuesday. Once COVID-19 became widespread, all of these events stopped and I was no longer running every day. This has made it much harder to get myself to run and to combat this I am now running every day except for Monday and Saturday which is making running feel more routine. With more days of running I can also focus on specific workouts more easily, which will allow me to develop into a better runner far more efficiently.
|Bike (cross training)||Run (workout)||Run (light, 10-12km)||Run (workout)||Run (light,10-12km)||Bike (cross training)||Long Run (20-30km)|
Without going into too much detail, a few workouts I am currently doing are; interval training and hill work. Interval training involves faster running for 1-8 minutes and a rest period directly after for the same amount of time. This is repeated 3-10 times depending on the level of exertion. Interval training is the best way to develop muscular endurance. In hill workouts, I run both uphill and downhill. Running quickly uphill is an excellent way for me to improve my VO2max and by sprinting downhill I am forced to increase my cadence and turnover (number of steps in a minute). Both of these factors are essential in effective running of any distance.
In conducting these workouts, I have deemed it necessary and worthwhile to purchase a smart watch. I found interval training in particular as inconvenient as I would have to hold my phone. After conducting a gross amount of research, I decided upon the Garmin Forerunner 245 and will be getting one with my own money and as an early birthday gift. The Garmin Forerunner 245 is an impressive piece of technology with a fairly accurate HR sensor, a pulse oximeter to measure oxygen saturation, GPS, and many more measurements useful for running. (full list = https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/628939#specs). I am elated that I was able to get one of these watches and look forward to using it!
In reflecting upon my choice of in depth project this year, I could not be happier. Not only did I have a ton of fun meeting new people and learning a new skill, but I have also developed what I hope to be a lifelong habit of fitness. I made friends within the running community, learned about biomechanics and pushed myself way outside of my comfort zone. From beginning to end I have improved immensely and both in my running capabilities and in understanding.
By challenging myself to run further and faster every week, I have also strengthened my mental fortitude and I believe this to be the most valuable takeaway from the project. Running long distances is almost more challenging mentally than it is physically and I faced this mental barrier. While running alone, there is no one to keep me accountable for how far I ran or how fast I was going; it is all up to me. Running solo is truly a unique way to break mental barriers and train the mind to be okay in uncomfortable situations. In running, I practice feeling discomfort so I can be better at handling it in the future and so I can appreciate the times of comfort and happiness even more.
I’m happy that I followed through on my goal of running a half-marathon and did so more than once!
And this is only the start,
Going into the future, I hope to continue running for a long time to come. By the end of May, I hope to have completed my full marathon. I believe this goal is very reachable as I have been within 8km of it!
After the marathon distance, I am going to continue going further distances. Next year, I hope to compete in the Diez Vista 50km Ultra. This is a race around Sasamat, Buntzen and the surrounding hills and although it is difficult (over 1800m elevation gain), I believe it is a goal attainable with grit and perseverance.
Next school year, I also hope to run both cross-country and track. If I keep my training regimen the same over the summer, I believe I will have a shot at winning a few competitions when I come back!
Although I know he will not see this, I would like to give a huge thank you to Paul Slaymaker. Paul has been both an inspiration and a great teacher for me over the past few months and without his offer for me to join the clinic, I doubt I would have been able to get past the discomfort of the first few runs.
Thank you Paul.
In presenting my in depth virtually, I hope to show the progress I have made over the past few months with a video. In this video I will briefly overview the sport of long distance running and my own progress. I will show some data, running video and more in the most engaging way I can.