August 9, 2016

Lazy Runner

By Marek

Lazy Runner!

The scene was set. A beautiful May morning and I was ready to go out and run against the world. That’s right, my third Wings For Life World Run was going to be great. Each year I made an improvement, and this year was going to be even better. A new course – this time Cambridge – was going to be flatter. This meant an improvement on the previous run was inevitable.

Wings For Life World Run 2016

I have been a very lazy runner for more than six months now. World RunEver since I decided to take a longer break from running in September, I have not been able to get back in the flow of things. The lowest point probably came in March, when I failed to achieve 60 miles during the entire month. To add insult to injury, I was running my first official marathon in Paris on the 3rd of April. Talk about lack of preparation. But that is a totally different story. Getting back on track. After Paris, I managed to pick things up and started getting back on the correct path. The World Run was going to be a great turning point.

Two weeks prior to the race, I had a chance to try out a new method. The Jeff Galloway marathon training method, where I would run 2km and then walk for 30 seconds (my own spin on it). One cool Saturday morning, I left the house and managed to do over 30km. I was religiously applying the method and found that I did my best 30km time and felt great. The pace was good enough to pull off a 30km run during the World Run, where the chaser car is on your heels the entire time.

Jeff Galloway

I have come across his name before but never had a chance to find out anything more. Not until I got his book from my cousin. I started reading it a while back but never really got into it. It was not until right after my Paris Marathon, that I came to the detailed section on how to actually run the marathon. That is the walk – run – walk method. I wish I had tried this earlier. Thinking way back when I was beginning running, I actually followed a similar method but as it usually is, you tend to forget what works and make up your own methods as you progress. Getting back to Jeff Galloway. He is a very experienced runner, especially when it comes to marathons, having completed more that 150 of them. He has sold over a million copies of books on running and trained over one hundred thousand runners. Definitely an expert in his field.

Race Day

So why am I a lazy runner? Following a proven method does not make one a lazy runner. Sure, some may criticise and say that unless you run a full distance of a race you are not a true runner but than again, I am not a professional and I do not claim to be one. I run as I enjoy running and although I do not pretend to be the fastest, I enjoy competition – the biggest being against myself.

Now this race is different. In order to do well, you need to set off at a good pace, otherwise you will need to run really fast later on. The chase car starts 30 minutes after the runners and begins at a pace of 16km/h (10 mph), increasing speed at different stages. That means that unless you are an exceptional runner, the moment the chaser car sets off, you are at a disadvantage and with each minute, it gets closer to you. I can run at that pace but not for long.

Off We Went

Because I elected to run and walk, I needed to set off quickly, which I did. However, after about 5 miles, I started running out of steam. Not because my legs could not carry me – that was not the case. What was different this time as opposed to my run a few weeks earlier was the fact, that the temperature was nearly 30C (over 80F) and we were starting at midday. Of course, everyone was in the same boat but I was not going to kill myself. After the next mile, I decided to slow the pace down and just enjoy myself.

I gave up on the hopes of reaching 30km and was just hoping to come close to 20km. lazy runnerI figured that there will be another day when I can improve my time. This was not going to be it. Especially since I was going to run a marathon in 2 weeks time. I started to increase my walking intervals and continued on pace to do about 18km, however, I ran into a friend late on. This helped to boost morale and since I was well rested, I managed to pickup pace and we ended up running over the half marathon distance.

Lazy Runner

This ended up being one of the most enjoyable races, especially since I had such a good finish. A lazy runner does not necessarily mean a slow runner. It simply means that sometimes, it is worth while easing off and just enjoying oneself. It makes it a more memorable experience and encourages to run in the future. What is even more important, a lazy runner saves himself from injury and exhaustion, enabling to run another day! So if you are a lazy runner like me, keep being lazy, it will pay off, just as long as you are running!