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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Why Run.

A comment posted to the "Running is Hard" blog echoed something I've heard often when I tell cross friends I'm running more. "Why not spend that time riding?" Good question. Here's the answer(s).

1) I dont' have more time to ride. On days when time is tight, I can get a 45 minute run in at 5:15 in the morning and be back before the kids wake up. I think it's time better spent than the equivalent 45 minutes on the bike. The dividends of 8 hours on the bike + 45 minutes running seems greater than 8:45 on the bike. At least that's what I'm telling myself.

2) I'm not running to get faster during the running sections of a cross race. There's no logic in that. I think this is a huge misconception on the part of those who eschew running. I'm doing it so that the hole I dig myself into during those running sections is not as deep.

3) It's been a real mental challenge. The mind games I've needed to play during hard runs are far more elaborate than those I use on myself while on the bike ;-)

4) And lastly, at my age, a little more bone density can only be a good thing.

The good news is, it doesn't take alot of miles to accomplish these goals. You still need to build a bit of base before doing speed work, but we're not talking marathon miles. They jury is still out on all of this, mind you. It's the first season I've decided to do this. I could end up being even slower than last year. I'll be sure to keep y'ins posted. What's slower than DFL?


Cyclocross Magazine said...

Nice post. Your #2 reason is interesting - made me think about how I race and how it's probably different than your style. It sounds like you approach must running sections at the same speed regardless of running fitness (balls out, real racing). I guess that's where we differ. I approach running always at the same exertion so I don't dig myself in the hole. So when I do some running in my training, it definitely makes me faster. Might not make much sense in that I'm probably capable of running at the same speed with or without training but I don't because over the years I've learned I have to manage my effort and avoid that big hole in order to have a good race and avoid blowing up.

fhfr436 said...

I just did my first pre-cyclocross season run the other day. Wow, I am always amazed at how locked up my lower legs get the two days following the first run!!