Friday, June 15, 2007

Reflections from the Life of a Runner... Part IV


You cannot reach your maximum physiological potential by merely doing the same thing over and over. No runner runs the exact same distance, pace, or even place everyday. There are “speed” days where you may be on the track running “quarters” (running one lap around the track [440meters] over and over just over 60 seconds for each split, with only 60 seconds rest in between). Honestly, these were the days I dreaded the most. On the other end of the spectrum there are “long” days or “distance” days. On these days you lace up the shoes and run somewhere between 10 and 19 miles, depending on what point it is in the season. These practices could take up to two-and-a-half hours. When your done with these runs, your legs feel like jello. On other days, you are up for a 6:00 am, 5 to 8 mile run, only to return in the afternoon for a similar run with a variable of elements included. There are a number of ways of switching up pace, speed, intensity, and so on to enhance muscle strength, endurance and speed.

Each of these variations is extremely important if you aspire to be competitive. Each of these workouts enhances a type of muscle and works together to strengthen the whole. Though I hated “speed” days, I knew it was one of the most valuable practice days for me, because “sprinting” wasn’t my strength (other wise I would have chosen to participate in a MUCH shorter race J). I was thankful for a coach who knew what I needed to do more than I wanted to do it. Though I rarely thanked my coach on the day of these work outs, I saw the benefit of the momentary pain and discomfort.

“No discipline (training) seems pleasant at the time,
but painful. Later on, however,
it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace
for those who have been trained by it.”
(Hebrews 12:11)

Any time a runner does the “exact” workout over and over day by day, they will reach a plateau. A skilled runner has the discernment to know what variation of work outs they need, as well as, when it’s time to change how their working out. The same is true for those who follow the teachings of Christ. Consistency is key, however if we do the exact same thing day in and day out, we may run the risk of spiritual plateau. We need the spiritual discernment to know when we are growing, changing, and being transformed and when we are doing the same thing, only without any advancement in our spiritual formation.

No comments: