Fast Friday – Running on Feel

Fast Friday – Running on Feel

Today’s #FastFriday is not about running a PB, but rather in learning to run on feel.

It’s a continuation on last weeks theme of learning to run easy when it's required and then to learn to pace yourself over whatever distance by learning how to feel what your body can give you on the day.

Big improvements came early

I have been working with Warren Lawlor since July 2015, the initial improvements that come from the structure of being on a training plan came as expected and although his 1st goal race in PE December 2015 wasn’t exactly as hoped, all his runs steadily got better.

There was a distinct pattern to his most successful races: Gun run 2016, Peninsula Marathon 2016 and Two Oceans 2017. All these runs, Warren just went with the flow, started somewhat conservatively and really ran well on the day.

Massive improvements came and with it great expectations for the 2017 Comrades Marathon. A PB followed but it was a tough day in reality and not what was planned.

Post Comrades was a struggle and the Peninsula Marathon didn’t go to plan either.

As his coach, I was not keen on Warren racing the Peninsula Marathon from the start.

It had been almost 2 years of hard training without a proper break.

 

Back to the drawing board

This lead to some interesting conversations between us. During the build-up to getting Warren back on track in November and December, Warren started to cover his watch and run on feel.

In the short term, a very common theme and pattern emerged.

Listening to his body and running genuinely on feel, Warren SLOWED down on easy days.

There was a corresponding drop in HR and Warren gradually got quicker on the slow days but not significantly.

What did happen though is his niggles cleared up and because of that he was able to get more consistent. The knock on effect meant he started to really enjoy his training again and is looking forward to a good year of running.

The proof is in the pudding

The proof is always in the pudding though and with a solid Two Ocean Marathon planned, with Comrades as the main dish for the year it was off to Cape Town Marathon to run a solid race, but no fireworks.

Warren covered his watch and again ran on feel.

In his own words, he may have started a bit fast but felt very comfortable throughout the whole race. Besides some very mild cramping post-race, while climbing the grandstand, he didn’t feel the effects of a tough-ish run.

Learning to slow down, to speed up

The time 3:16. Nothing wrong with a 3:16:42 that leaves you feeling like you had lots more to give, very mild stiffness the next day and able to train the following week.

So maybe while this post was about running fast, what was more important was the journey to running fast.

So this week’s #FastFriday goes to Warren Lawlor, for unlocking his potential by mastering one of the key skills in running and in particular learning to pace yourself: Running on feel.

 

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