Nothing can take the place of consistency, in sport or any part of life.
Have you ever heard the story of the turtle. It has no way of getting anywhere unless it sticks its neck out.
Running success is dependent largely on the same idea.
You have to be willing to stick your neck out to get where you want to go.
Everyone can be great
It is frustrating to hear Soldiers that I work with and around say they are not good runners.
I think everyone can be great at the sport but consistency really is at the heart of how good athletes can become.
The problem is there isn't enough time spent on developing the cardiovascular system to find out. This isn't a sport where you get instant gratification.
You have to think of your preparation in smaller increments of time rather trying to rush to get results quickly.
Spend more time training
I see it in the military where are Troops are expected to perform on their PT tests but haven't spent enough adequate time on their feet.
They are struggling on their runs. There is a reason for this.
Our military PT tests revolve around a 2-mile run after doing as many push-ups we can do in 2-minutes, a 10-
minute break, than doing as many sit ups as possible in a 2-minute period.
Soldiers are than given a 10-minute break and are to complete a timed 2-mile run to test their cardiovascular fitness.
The same thing happens over and over again. They haven't' built up the consistent time on their feet to really maximize their ability and struggle because of it.
WHY IS CONSISTENCY THE KEY TO RUNNING SUCCESS?
Peter Snell, two-time Olympic 800m Champion and former world record holder at the event who was coached by the legendary New Zealand Coach, Arthur Lydriard puts it this way
I came to the conclusion that it was all about the conditioning. Spend as much time as you can on the conditioning and you'll eventually get into, as Lydriard liked to say, a ‘tireless state'. Develop endurance as early as possible. Developing endurance is difficult and time consuming.
He is right. It is time consuming and difficult, but people who think of themselves as poor runners can be molded and can become great at the activity. The problem lies in seeing running as pleasurable, rather than painful.
WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?
It isn't fun getting back into shape. It is a painstakingly boring routine at first, but 4-6 weeks down the road it becomes much more enjoyable and less problematic.
The problem is getting yourself motivated to push through the slush that has been built up from too many months or years thinking you don't have what it takes.
Empty your mind. Be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle. You put it into a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water my friend-Bruce Lee
The top athletes are no better then you.
They have simply taken an activity that most people see as painful and have found a way to see pleasure in the process.
There isn't a secret to being good in distance running.
You have to have a plan and take your time in implementing it.
I wrote about this in the House Building Guide To Running A Faster Marathon
Lay the foundation first by putting in consistent mileage, than work on the nuts and bolts of your strategy.
Improvement comes from a consistent build up of mileage.
FITNESS WILL COME
How can we change that? Well, that is a lot easier said then done.
I usually take 2 weeks to a month off per year from races and I run pretty much the entire year.
My most successful races have been from months of consistent mileage. Uninterrupted mileage.
Running consistently every day will get you into that ‘tireless state‘ Lydiard spoke of.
The pay off in running consistency far outweighs the initial weeks of enduring the feeling of being unfit and unable to hold a solid pace. I know of this ‘tireless state‘ Lydriard speaks of and I want to get you there too.
Runs become easier.
Breathing rate drastically drops.
It all builds from consistency in training.
Your heart doesn't have to work as hard. Your resting heart rate drops and your body adapts on many physiological levels. You don't have to work as hard running at the same pace you initially started at.
In addition, your pace will be faster working at the same heart rate. This is where training becomes fun and interesting. You see massive improvements and know your hard work is paying off.
METHODS OF GROWING MORE CONSISTENT IN YOUR TRAINING
- Remember, running success is not an overnight process. Be patient and let your body adapt to the training stimulus. It will reward you in due time.
- Think of the goal you want to achieve, as often as possible.
- How will accomplishing your goal time effect how you view running? Will a drop in weight or a great performance prove to you that you, too, can be a strong runner? I can assure you it will. You just need a little success to prove to you what your capabilities.
- Take it one week at a time. You don't have to run 7 days a week. Start off trying to run twice a week and build from there. Delayed gratification is crucial in this sport. You believe in it enough and you will be that much more successful.
- Set small goals to motivate yourself and build your training from there. You won't enjoy running at first. Give yourself some time. Give it a chance
- Read up on successful people. What are they doing that makes them successful? Implement some of their methods and tweak them to fit your own training regiment. There are countless training plans out there. Find what works best for you.
- Always keep the end goal in mind. This will make the process of being more consistent an easier task. You have your goal to motivate you. Use it to your advantage. Wake up and go to bed thinking about it. This will build momentum.
I hope this was helpful. Please send me your feedback as to what areas of training you are would like written about. Any area I can assist you with.