Monday, March 12, 2012

Recreational Runner versus Competitive Runner

I've been running for less than a year.  That year mark coincides with the last month of racing for the season.  I'm certain to be categorized as a "recreational" runner.  My mileage, lack of a true training plan and "beginner" status solidified me with that title this race season.   But, where do I want to go?

To embrace the title of "competitive" runner, I know that a few things would change:
  • time commitment to run would increase (to about 35+ miles/ about 5 days/week of running)
  • attitude would change
Now, the attitude would be welcomed.  It will force me to focus on my health, eating habits, schedule, etc.  The time commitment worries me.  Basically, this would require 6 hours/week of running.  2 hours saturday and sunday, and then an hour probably tuesday and thursday.  Of course, thats assuming my time improves.  I'm pretty good at the hour mark...and can hold pretty steady around 6 miles/hour.  The bigger problem is that the long runs on the weekends just deplete me for anything family-related.  I just want to lay down and nap all day!  Maybe thats the part that worries me.  I know someone who does half marathons and triathalons, and after her races, she is out in the yard gardening!  I'm sure it comes with time...I just wish I was there already.  I simply don't want to miss out on my family.

But, I also want to get to the point that a 2-hour run is ok for me (and doesn't make me want to nap the rest of the day).  I need to remember that not long ago, I couldn't run around the block without gasping for air.  Now, I can comfortably run 1 hour straight!  Isn't that just amazing?  Well, it is to me.  Our bodies are adaptable to quite a lot!  I'm thankful that I have a body that hasn't experienced any major trauma thus far.

So, my goal, by my 1-year mark of running...I want to solify my plan for the next race season.  Until then, I'll embrace the title of "recreational" runner and enjoy everything it brings me!


  1. I find one of the keys to recovering from a long run is to refuel asap, and make sure to eat enough - with a good combination of protein and carbs. If I don't, I end up feeling totally wiped the rest of the day.

  2. This will certainly come with time, but you may also be running your long runs too fast. Even when training for a marathon, I was rarely done for the day after a long run. If I took a nap it had more to do with being up at 3 am than the 3+ hour runs.

  3. I know I'm refueling properly...definitely getting good carbs and protein in! Maybe its simply a need for a nap. I suppose I just don't want to miss any family time after being gone all I force myself to stay up, and if I'm simply too tired, I really am not doing anyone any good. time, a 30 minutes nap after a long run and I'll see if it makes a big difference!


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