It was 4am on Sunday morning, and I couldn’t sleep. Since I wasn’t exactly feeling full of energy, I sat down in front of the computer and continued the mindless task of manually importing some of my old activity logs from Garmin Connect into Strava. In between cursing at my old Garmin 405 for having less than stellar GPS accuracy in those 2010 and 2011 activities; I realized something I’d almost forgotten: I had absolutely no endurance in 2010, and in between 2010 and 2012 I was doing quite a lot of walking before I was able to successfully do my first long distance runs of 10km and more. Which means that both my half-marathon as well as my decent sprint achievements in 2013 were built on a reasonable base of long, slow movement that gradually built up my body to withstand both the continued pounding of a long race as well as the aggressive acceleration in a sprint competition.
So here I am in 2014. I’ve been plagued by injuries because my expectations were exceeding my fitness, and my upper limit for endurance runs seems to be down below the 10km level again. While I sometimes like to pretend otherwise, 37 is starting to feel quite old in terms of athletics and sprinting.
And yet, I am doing very little walking these days. I haven’t even been doing proper long runs anymore; because my renewed interest in mountains and hills led me to concentrate on hard workouts that were probably way outside of my current fitness level. 2014 was very much split between high intensity and injury breaks.
So on Sunday afternoon, I set out to do a reasonable hike in the forest. I walked 12km, and it was a nice feeling to move at a comfortable level of exhaustion. I wasn’t beat up, and my achilles tendon wasn’t in pain.
All throughout the hike, my thoughts kept revolving around the the single word “reset”, and what implications such a “reset” would have on my athletic pursuits. What if I have been digging myself into a hole by chasing goals that are serious enough to require hard training efforts; while at the same time I’ve been compromising my base fitness by not doing enough groundwork? The proverb says that “we must learn to walk before we can run”. Maybe I have been doing too much running and not enough walking.