2016- The training begins…
Plan for last week was:
Short Interval: 5x1km repeats @ Furious pace (Tue). Short. Hard. Scary. Little rest.
Tempo Run: warm up, 6km @ (Thurs) Fast-not–so-Furious Pace, cool down.
Long Run 25 km @ long run pace (Sunday)- Easyyyyyy Pace
Which run was my favourite?
For me, the long run- any day…followed by the tempo. Monday nights usually are spent in anxiety – the impending doom of the Tuesday morning Interval workout. I dread these. Nearly every runner experiences some degree of workout anxiety disrupting sleep the night before. Sometimes the feeling creeps up between hard workouts. It strikes in the midst of a hard session, triggering thoughts during rest intervals like OMG, I can’t believe I need to do that again. Although the total time duration of my Interval and tempo workout is the same- the Intervals seems harder. It has rest. But it’s hard. The tempo is less hard- but it is smooth. The effort level seems to be the same- in all three workouts. But my perception is different. I need to understand that.
Discovered by Nobel Prize winning behavioral economist Daniel Kahneman, the peak-end rule states that we remember the pain of an experience based on the average of only two points: the peak and the end. This rule helps explains why runners who experience the discomfort of a marathon elect to go 42.2km again. Memories of the joy and jubilation at the end of both experiences overshadow the steady pain felt throughout them. In fact, experiments in health care demonstrate that post-treatment, patients prefer a longer procedure with considerably more pain, so long as the pain was spread evenly, over a shorter procedure with higher peak and end pain. In fascinating parallel marathoners have a similarly distorted recollection of pain. Runners remember marathons as a lot less painful than they actually were; an effect that becomes stronger with the passage of time.
“By evenly pacing intervals and focusing on staying smooth through the end, we can probably push the body further while creating a situation that is easier on the mind,” Steve Magness, author of the book, Science of Running, said. “Both within a workout and over the long run, this allows runners to get more work in by staying consistent, in part thanks to the mental advantage of how we process and remember the intervals.”
The important thing is to run the intervals at an even pace, and finish as relaxed as possible. Doing so will decrease workout anxiety and the downright dread heading into our next workout.
We know that once we begin to run, it will only end when it ends. Whatever distance it is and however long it takes. And we do know- that we are going to do it. That we have to do it. Anxious or accepting, Complaining or cool.
So let’s take a deep breath, and start it- like most things in life…having faith in ourselves and in the training.