Knowing what to do during the mtn bike off-season has always been easy. Strength training(check), yoga(check) and enough biking/cardioto maintain a cardio base(check) . Usually I know what's in store for next year too. Which races I want to do - which of my weaknesses I want to work on, etc. But mostly i want to ride the heck out of my bike.
I can't explain how much I love mtn biking - i LOVE technical riding, i LOVE fast, swoopy, smooth single track, I LOVE the exposure to the sun that goes with desert riding and I LOVE being enclosed in trees on the high alpine trails. I LOVE the grinding, lung busting climbs and the scary, break-your-teeth rocky descents and everything in between. I LOVE the Spring where every little hill puts me in the red zone - I LOVE escaping to the cooler mountains when it's hot during the Summer in Boulder and I LOVE the beauty of Fall riding it's indescribably joyful. So it's easy - the off-season is for prepping for mtn biking.
But now here's this running thing. At first I thought - well I can do this for 3 or 4 months and then go back to my 'regularly scheduled mtn bike program'. Now it's closing in on the end of December and I don't think I'll be able to give it up. I do love to run.
I feel like I've squandered the time I allotted myself for running. I started running on September 15, 2011. It's 3 months later and I don't have any idea how to be a better runner. Right now I'm just running when I feel like it - doing "speed work" based on things I gathered off the internet. But I have no idea how much speed work to do, when to do it, when to do a long run, when to do an easy run and when to rest and when to recover.
I feel a "shortness of time" that I allowed myself closing in.
What do I want?
- At this point in time - I'd like to keep running.
- I'd like to be faster. My secret goal is to run a sub-25 minute 5k. But I have no idea how to get there tho I think it's a reachable goal..
- I'd like to be able to run longer. Maybe a half-marathon...so far my longest run has been 6 miles.
Which brings up the following questions
- Is it possible to become a better runner without fully committing to it? i'm guessing the answer to that is "NO!"
- I wonder if I can do both - the mtn biking and running? I want to go to Camp Lynda in Feburary - but really hate to show up without any biking legs.
- Am I too old to do both at the level I'd like? Can I recover enough doing both sports or would I just dig myself into a big overtraining hole...
- Can I accept the fact my mtn bike skills might decline? that would be tough...I don't know
- Should I give up the bike for a year and just run? My friend, Phil tells me having a "running chassis" is important. Maybe I should give up the bike for a year and get my running chassis in place and then try to combine both...
Tough - tough choices...I guess for right now - at least for the next 2 weeks - i'm going to ponder this dilemma by running my little, frickin', heart out.