I have always struggled with distance running. Even in high school when I was a great sprinter I tried my hand at cross country and was a dismal failure. Over the years since college I sign up and train for road races and triathlons and my 12 minute mile is so pathetic I cringe when I see my times.
After my time at the 2XU Ultimate Performance Training Camp I was inspired to pursue and train what I’m good at and that’s short sprinting. I found a couple community track meets taking place this summer in Calgary and I decided I would spend my summer training like I used to.
I felt pretty lost at where to start, especially when it feels like there are so many new things since I last ran track 11 years ago (ie. Crossfit, kettlebells, TRX). I decided I couldn’t figure out a program on my own and I went off in search of a coach. Do you know how hard it is to find a track coach in Alberta? Almost impossible!
During my search I found a website in the States called CoachUp, it’s like Facebook for coaches, you can find a coach in every sport. They list their resume, their sport, rates, etc. Because I was in Seattle for a week for my sisters wedding, I found a highly recommended coach in the Seattle area with a good resume- Nick W. We met at the track at Greenlake and discussed my goals, my history, and where I am physically today. After our meeting, Nick wrote me up a training plan and will continue to do so through the summer and coach me via distance.
So last week I laced up at the track and got back to it. I forgot how extremely hard sprinting is on your lungs, your body, and your mind. I’m not even doing anything too intense but I struggled for air as I ran 6 x 200 metres at 80% that’s for sure. It takes a lot of mental work to push yourself to keep going, to move those arms and churn those legs. I’m back to lifting free weights like I used to do in the old days and I feel like a million bucks. It is so much easier to stick to a training schedule when someone else has written it for you and you have to report back! When Nick tells me to do a mile warm up I’m so tempted to stop after 800m but because I was told to do a mile I follow through.
Besides enjoying my workouts again, I am already seeing results- in one week! I played my first softball games of the season last night and I couldn’t believe the difference from last year. I was less winded, had more energy, and my legs felt lighter and faster as I ran around outfield and between bases.
The lesson from this post?
There is no one-size fits all when it comes to fitness!
There is more out there than distance running, weight lifting, and yoga. Not that they aren’t all great- but these seem to be the three that everyone thinks they need to do to be fit. You have to find what you like, what you excel at, and go for it. I always thought there was no point to sprint training when I wasn’t competing, but I see now that it’s the form of exercise I prefer and I feel my best from. So if you are having a hard time finding what you love don’t be afraid to think outside the box! Adult gymnastics? Go for it! Road cycling? Hell yeah! Find a good coach to guide you through it and go for it.
Is there a sport or activity you would like to pick up for fun?
Who else really struggles with distance running?