For many of you, we are getting into mileage that you have never covered. For others, you have covered the distance and want to find ways to have a better experience while you’re out there. For training runs and walks, one of the simplest ways to ensure a good workout is to slow down from the very first step. While this sounds simple, the ego tends to get in the way and tells us that we can go out faster and it will be alright. If it’s not our ego, it’s our training partners telling us we can do this; dig deep and gut it out, badass! All we really want to do is puke our guts out and quit as we fall farther behind our group until we can’t see them anymore. This is followed by doubts about whether we can survive and wondering if we can really do the race we’re training for.
Falling behind your group, puking and quitting are not on the goal list for this training program. We want everyone to be as successful as possible and to cover the distance at a training pace that is doable from start to finish. To do this, many of you need to move back one pace group. You need to welcome the change and relative ease of the pace that you feel at the start of the workout. This ease translates to stored energy that you’ll need on the back end. It also leads to euphoria for feeling so good across the distance and being able to keep up with your group as you push the limits of what you thought your mind and body were capable of doing.
For those of you who have covered our longer distances before, moving back a pace group is an option that you should consider based on the week you’ve had or Saturday’s weather forecast. For all of us, environmental factors contribute to the abilities we have on Saturday morning. Do a pre-workout evaluation when you get up on Saturday and decide if you are as prepared as you’d like to be or if you want to drop back and be kinder to yourself and do a pace you know won’t kick your butt.
Regardless of which camp you are in, dropping back is not throwing in the towel or admitting defeat. Dropping back should be a conscious decision, which takes control and courage. It requires you to stand up for yourself and do what is best. It also requires you to remember that this is training. Training is about doing what is needed to be safe and healthy all season to bolster your odds of getting to the starting line. Don’t lose focus on the starting line by worrying about being too slow during training. If you don’t train properly to get to the starting line, the finish line isn’t even an option.