I love swimming because of the technique involved. Swimming is one of the finesse sports. You can flap your arms really hard and swim fast and swim long, but you aren't going to really improve until you focus on your technique.
I always saw running as the exact opposite. Get out there and run. Then, run more. Then, run harder. Do your drill work. Do your speed work. Do your long runs. Do tempo runs. Do fartleks.
RUN RUN RUN
That'll make me faster, right?
Well, what I've found is that it doesn't. I should clarify....it certainly worked when I was younger. No matter what I did, I'd get faster.
I tried it for a long time. It was like trying to hammer a square peg into a round hole.
My speed improved....until the improvement slowed....until it stagnated.
Then, running sucked. I started hating it. Why bother with ALL of that training stuff if it WASN'T WORKING?
There was something wrong with me. I knew it. All those other women could run so fast. WHAT was wrong with ME?
More is more, until it isn't.
Coach said that we were going to do a run focus, and I froze for a minute. But, I said, "Ok."
The first thing I thought was, "I've done run focuses. THEY DON'T WORK."
Then she said, "Good. This is going to be unlike anything you've ever done before."
Then she took my race schedule and crossed off my races. "IXNY on the upcoming race schedule".
I knew that I had to change something, so I totally, completely went with it. As far as I was concerned, I can't get any slower.
Over the last 4 weeks, I've learned that running is quite a bit more of a finesse sport than I ever gave it credit.
No more forcing a square peg into a round hole. No more telling me to run "easy". She is teaching me what running easy means.
I didn't even know that running could be easy.
I thought it was a FORCE sport, go hard, go fast, go long.
My paces started dropping, in just 4 weeks time.
On Feb 2nd, I have a 5k. I have no expectations for this race. My goal isn't to PR. I want my race to feel as good as my training has felt.
At the same time, I'm cautiously optimistic.
My goal wasn't to become a "runner". My goal is to be the best triathlete I can be.
And I know, now, that there was nothing wrong with me.
WHAT IF THE RUN BECOMES MY STRENGTH?
Right now, anything is possible.