Choosing Your Own Path

My name is Autumn and I’m a #stravawanker.

Pauses for quiet applause and head-nodding from empathising fellow runners and stat geeks.  

Let’s not forget Garmin Connect, which has become much more interactive lately following a modernised interface.  I also can’t deny my brief flirtations for other forum-based running websites where I may have logged ‘bugmiles’, entered running challenges or synced my stats to ‘runhub’.

Modern technology is ace.  GPS running watches are ace.  Social media can be ace (depending on how it’s used).  Lump the three together and you’re onto a winner.  Websites like Strava are growing in popularity and with the announcement from parkrun and Jantastic that they are also providing their users the opportunity to connect their relevant profiles to their strava accounts, this trend is set to continue.

I love sites like Strava.  It’s so easy to flick back through years of training.  It’s great for sharing new running routes and seeing what kind of training your pals are on with.  It feels good when someone gives you ‘kudos’ on a hard race or particularly difficult run.  And let’s be honest, sometimes it’s just interesting to have a right good nosy about what everyone else is up to.

But beware the deadly trap.  In the words of RUN-DMC, it goes a little something like this…….

Phew, what a great run!  I’m really chuffed I managed to complete those ten miles, I’m definitely on target for my spring marathon.  Oh hang on a minute, I see that Mary-Jane did twelve miles today.  I’m pretty sure she’s training for the London marathon too.  Should I go back out and do two more?  No, don’t be silly.  Oh wait, her average pace was faster than mine too, even though she ran further.  FFS.

And there you have it.  From elation to desperation in sixty seconds.

DO NOT PAY TOO MUCH ATTENTION TO WHAT ANYONE ELSE IS DOING.

You’re doing just fine.  You’re doing great in fact.  You have everything worked out in your head – don’t let someone else’s training wobble it.  You know what works for you.

Some people benefit from high mileage, slower paced plans.  Others will reap the most from minimal mileage but all quality sessions.  Some runners will want to race regularly in the build-up to their goal race whilst some find that too many races interfere with their long-term goals.

All of this information you now have at your fingertips about your fellow runners should just be background noise.  Let it be the music that you have playing in the background whilst you are focusing on a more important task.  Think of it as having the radio on at work; it’s nice to have it there but when you need to concentrate or when the ‘phone rings, you can switch it off.

For the next few months, all roads to lead to London.  It’s just that I’ll be choosing my own path to get me there.

Photo credit: David Wood

Photo credit: David Wood