Friday, June 03, 2005

Poll: Should we run a race to win or just for fun?

With only two weight training (WT) sessions behind me I am already discovering that this is the missing link in my overall fitness program. Despite the low weight that I use my muscles still let me know the next morning that I have treated them with some strenuous exercise that was previously almost foreign. I like the way the body feels after going through my routine, the tightness of various muscle groups etc. Maybe it’s just newbie enthusiasm, but I feel totally energized by this new addition to my fitness program.

Summary of Last Night's Training:

1 set 15 pushups, 1 set 25 sit-ups;
1 set of weight training (WT) exercises;
1 set 15 pushups, 1 set 25 sit-ups;
2K run (11:53 minutes)
1K walk (cool down)
1 set 15 pushups, 1 set 25 sit-ups;
Cool down.
Conditions: 16:30; 27C/80F, warm, sunny, slight wind.
Feeling after training: Legs not as sore as first WT session.

Diet Stats:

No change from yesterday.

Other Ponderings:

I was talking to a gent in my garden club the other day, who I discovered is a former marathon runner (4x). At 67 years old he no longer has ambitions for such long races, so limits himself to a few select 10K each year. What was interesting is that he said he was never a competitive runner, that is he was always content to just run for the fun of it, he never worried about how long it took to cross the finish line. That said, he ran his first marathon at age 49 in 3:39:00! I mentioned that I needed quite a bit longer than he did for my first. His reply was that he had been running for 10 years before this so was pretty fit. He added that he probably could have finished in 3:15:00 or less if he had really wanted too...hmmmm...okaaaay!

So what do you think about this, should we always run races as a race (e.g. as fast as possible) or should we just run a race for the sheer joy of running? Or, as an example, how would you feel if you ran a 10K in 60 minutes when you know you could do it in 50 on a bad day?

I never run for speed. I doubt I ever will. I'm just not very fast and frankly, I don't need something else to beat myself up over. I find plenty without worrying about my speed! I just run for the joy.
When I first started running, I always wanted to get faster and faster. Like, every time I went out, it should have been a new PR type thing - even if I was just running around my neighborhood! But that changed over time. I always have a time in mind, when I set out, but it's not the *reason* I run any more. Obviously, being sidelined by the pregnancy has contributed to that, but I also think it was just the evolution of knowing that I'm never racing anyone else anyway. I'm just not "fast", and that's still fine!
Hmmm, I think I'm sort of in-between on this. I like to push myself in races, and am always happy if I run at a faster pace than I predicted/expected, but on the other hand, I'm a wimp about pain or extreme discomfort, so I'm probably not willing to push myself as far as some people would. For example, I can't imagine pushing myself to the point of throwing up. If that makes me a baby, so be it. ;-)
In any event, given my typical paces, it would be sort of sad if I were focused on speed...
that's a great question, jack. there are two types of joys that i receive from running. the first, is when i meet a certain goal, i.e. crossing the line in a certain time or place. the elation of seeing hard work pay off and meeting a challenge and succeeding is amazing. the second type of joy would be how i feel with i run a race with someone else to see them succeeded, or run a race for fun. i feel amazingly alive when i can spread humor and joy to other runners. the focus is not on me and my performance and i'm freed up to share the experience with others.

the two types of experiences are very different, but bring about the same 'high'. so, my short answer is, i run races for both reasons. for me, a little of both is a great balance.
For me the race is there as the test at the end of studying hard. To see how fast I can run when the pressure is on and the course is set and timed. And when good snacks are waiting for me at the end.

I think I said it before that I never got that runner's high from running. While I'm running its just awful, but afterwards I feel better.

I have no expectations to win anything ever, but I do expect improvement from myself in one for or another.
For me it is purely fun and social. Okay there is a little bit of me that does it for my health as well and I do have a little competitivesness in me but its not the same as those racing to win. I may never come 1st but I consider myself a winner anytime I finish a race even if I am last!
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