Lessons Learned: Choose the Ground you RUN on!
It is always best to run on the softest ground possible. Concrete being the worst! I learned this lesson the hard way, running down hill full speed on concrete will result in a fracture! If you can choose, always run in dirt! Next best is asphalt then concrete.
When doing hill repeats, run up the hill and slowly jog or walk back down. Your bones take the impact no mater how strong your think your muscles are. Save the down hill running for your race, not for training!
Lessons Learned: Enjoy the Run, Don't Only Train
I don't know about you, but after I got my Garmin I was surprised by a few things. First, I was surprise to find out that I wasn't running quite as far as I thought! I was off by about 1/2 a mile which added up when I did my usual loop!
Second, I started to realize that my pace was faster than I thought, so I started to push myself to get faster.
Third, I slowly started using the heart rate monitor and started following my heart rate during speed drills, endurance runs and hill runs.
Next thing I knew, I was constantly checking my pace, distance, heart rate, and time. Slowly I became so addicted to tracking my progress, I lost the love of running because I was pushing myself so much. All of my runs were specific training runs: endurance, drills, hills, etc.
When I first started running, it was for some ME time! Time to get away from my daily problems, pray, and work things out in my head. After I got my Garmin all those things went away. My daily run had turned into training. Training requires work and hard effort which can kill your enjoyment of running if you let them.
Running is a choice, training is mandatory, an obligation, a commitment. That makes all the difference in the world.
When you freely choose to do an activity, you come to it with enthusiasm and energy. An activity that is forced upon you saps all your strength. Remember why you started running in the first place and don't lose sight of it!
I schedule a FUN RUN day where I leave my Garmin at home and enjoy the run! I take time to pray and enjoy the beauty of my running trail. Take time after your hard training season and just relax and remember the joy in your run. This is why we need to rest in between races, to recharge our body and mind. Don't lose your love of the run!