There are many reasons why some of us take a break from running. It could be from burnout, injuries or just to rethink our running goals. Recently Jeremy Shingleton, a Dashing Whippet, shared his experience from the past year as to why he took a break. His reason was apparently from a bad season of racing. He decided to start over to get faster and stronger:
Haven’t wrote about my running in almost a year, except for a few pictures posted from some fun relay races. Thought I’d give an update…
I took off some time last fall after a bad season of racing. Just missed my goal in the mile, with a sprained ankle and poor training. I wasn’t able to transition into marathon training and had to defer my entry for the NYC Marathon to this year. Life also got in the way. After that, I stopped training completely; I did my Tuesday night team workout (where I’m one of the co-leaders) and almost nothing else. By New Year’s I was about 20lbs over my best race shape and lost all of the fitness built in 2014.
I started this year by building a health base and making sure that I avoided injury. In January, I ran very slow and easy and usually took a day off between runs. Steadily, I increased the mileage, especially on my long-runs. After 3 months, I got my long runs in the 20-25mi range, adding endurance that I never had before. From there, I still focused on building my base. I took away some of the recovery days, though I still rested after the toughest workouts. On the Tuesday night workouts (usually tempo runs), I began to push harder and started running with the faster groups. In April, I got a Citibike pass and started biking everywhere I go, adding another 30-40mi per week in biking.
After 5 months of base building without speedwork, I started regularly running the team track workout on Thursdays, slowing adding some speed work. By the beginning of June, for the maybe the first time ever, I had a strong base upon which to build speed without risk of injury. I’ve still kept most of my long-runs at 20 mi, though I often back off slightly every other week and skip them on race weeks, to prevent over-training. At the same time, I have been going all-out with my tempo runs and speedwork.
Seven months later, I’m finally starting to see the results. Over the past two weeks, I’ve peaked for next week’s NYRR team championships. The speed, which had eluded me all year, is finally there. Two Thursdays ago, I was able to do 16x400m @ around 0:74. This past Thursday, I was able to do 8 x 800m @ around 2:50. At the same time, the stamina and endurance are still there. My overall mileage peaked. Two weeks ago was 50mi running / 30mi biking and last week was 60mi running / 40mi biking (with a strong finish to my 20-mi long run). Also, my weight is back at race weight. The hay is in the barn, so I just need to taper from here. I’m set up for a nice PR if I can get in a couple pace runs to get comfortable with my target pace, while getting enough rest/easy days to be fresh for the race.
After Team Championships, I’ll probably back off for a week or two, then start training for my 2015 goal race (5th Avenue mile, in September) and my first ever marathon in November.