Tuesday, September 25, 2012
As the seasons change so does running: it feels more mellow, more easy-going. Part of it comes from the weather because now I don't have to steel my nerves as I head out for another trek in 101 degree heat. Instead the soft coolness of the autumn air refreshes and renews my muscles as I move.
But the bigger change is in my goals. During the racing season I have races and deadlines constantly looming, so there is this constant pressure to make progress quickly because if I toe the line and I
m not ready there will be problems. But once I decided that I wasn't going to race any more this season, everything changed.
Now I've moved in the building phase, that long, slow period in the winter months where you go back to basics and retool your machine to have a better season next summer. I still have goals, but they are a little more nebulous, and further off. I can run solely for the pure joy of running, rather than to meet some special training criteria. And if I'm too busy with work to do yoga and run on a given day, I could take a day off from the pavement and not worry about it.
For every endeavor we all need periods of intense focus and periods of relaxed recovery. This is periodization, really, but a more holistic kind. We should take the time to enjoy the variety and the fresh perspective that it brings.