A few weeks ago I tried to run a half marathon. That didn’t go so well. So, now would be a good time to regroup and think carefully about setting appropriate goals for myself, taking into account my fitness levels, my time, my propensity towards knee pains and so on.
I’ve done that, and I’ve come up with a new goal for next year.
I’m going to run an ultramarathon.
Specifically, I want to target a 50k race next year. Now, this might sound a little crazy given that I’ve never gone beyond 21k, but there actually is method to my madness. I figure that I’m at a point in my training where I can go one of two ways. I can carry on running, take time off every time legs complain, and maybe do the odd 5k or 10k race.
Or I set myself what they call in the business world a Big Hairy Audacious Goal.
The thing is, at the moment I can’t possibly run that kind of distance, for some very specific reasons. My gait isn’t right, and I have very tight hip and thigh muscles, specifically my ITB and TFL. These aren’t big problems when I’m only running 5k, but are serious limiters when I go out long. If I stick to shorter runs, then I’ll never have to address these underlying limiters, and I could probably even train out to half marathon reasonably well.
But if I want to go really long, then I can’t fake it. I have to rebuild my gait properly, and I have to put in the hard work with stretching and foam rollers to work out my problem muscles. Indeed, I expect I’ll probably spend more time doing this kind of rehab over the winter than actually running.
So, if you live in the neighborhood and see a crazy guy running barefoot on gravel trails, it’s me re-teaching my ankles and calves to run lightly and fluidly. And my long-suffering family will have to put up with me grunting through hours of foam roller work.
But I’m going to make this work. I’m fed up with having my legs give up when I still have fuel in the tank.
And if anyone is looking for a training partner willing to put in some serious mileage, give me a shout.