In theory, running (almost) every day is the perfect recipe for wearing yourself out, right?
Well, three and a half years on, with 18,000 km on the clicker from 1,400 runs, I’m doing rather well, thank you.
Very quickly, at the beginning of this process, I came to understand that I had to forget about any kind of structured program, and simply adapt my speed to my mood. This morning, can I go fast without much effort? Fine, off I go! In the evening, if the legs are feeling heavy, well, it’ll take an extra 10 minutes to get home! Let’s just say, it’s less of a big deal than being on the metro when it breaks down…
Gradually, I realized what an opportunity I had by no longer following a program. Any respectable training program involves intervals. But what happens when you’re trying to get through a demanding session on a bad day? You can try to do your intervals anyway, fail to reach your set goals, and end up feeling useless. Or you can skip out on your schedule entirely, feel useless, and waste your life wondering how you’re going to make up what you missed on your superb computer-generated schedule.
The same goes for long runs, which take up precious family time… or for slow runs, which you always do too fast anyway.
Conversely, what if you’re really feeling up to it but some urgent matter prevents you from going on your run? You’re frustrated, of course, and you take vengeance by going too fast as soon as the opportunity presents itself, at the risk of injuring yourself and, ironically, in complete disregard of the program, which told you to take it easy that day...
So what then… you run every day without a plan? No worries in that case. It’s impossible to be disappointed in your run when the only goal is to simply set foot outside and get going. And what better way is there to convince yourself to get out there than using running as your daily means of transportation? Exercise is seamlessly integrated into your routine.
And when I really don’t feel like it, I’ve got a magic formula I can use: “When was the last time I regretted going on a run?” The answer: “Never!” And so, I’m off