Training Intensity Dial

Well being smart and taking it easy certainly is easier said than done.  And I thought I was in a good place.  But after increased aching in my leg Monday night.  I decided to scale it back again this week.  Because guess what?!  I did too much over the weekend.

It has made me reflect and realize I need to be able to find a training intensity dial instead of an on/off switch.  By that I mean I am on 100% intensity usuallyโ€”all in on training. Which can be good in some instances but can very much be detrimental in others.  And is certainly not sustainable.  When I say intensity, I do not mean how fast I am running I mean my mindset in regard to training. My old coach Megan Brown had mentioned this idea to me years ago and I think my fear had always been I would lose the intensity. But I think from a sustainability point I need to be able to dial it on/off rather than it be a switch. 

It is like as soon as I start out on a run or even cross training a switch goes on and tells me I can do more or I should do more.  But just because I can do more does not mean I should!  I can head out the door with the smartest plan but then as soon as I am out there, I start thinking about how I could/should do more. And with having the extra time to do so while in self isolation I think I was giving in to this a little too much. Typically, I would have a set amount of time to get the prescribed run in and not have time to think twice about it. This is one of the things I need to work on.  So, I am going to start to think of it as a training intensity dial rather than an on/off switch. I think I will literally start by visualizing a training intensity dial and trying to focus in on where my intensity should be for the day/week/month. 

It was amazing to see how fast I went back to calculating the mileage and oh if I run x amount for the rest of the week, I can hit x mileage. Bahhh! NO ONE CARES!!! I use the fact that I love the training as an excuse but really if I truly loved it, I should not be so reckless with it.

So, my goal over the next little while is to find a training intensity dial approach in order to ease it on and ease off much better than being switched on or off. This is important because we can not be going all in all the time especially when there is no reason to be (like now). Our bodies have a limited amount of capacity and the more we push in some instances the easier it becomes to surpass it. And although I know all of this it is amazing to see how fast I forget it when I step out the door to run.

I am also going to see this down time as a blessing in that there is no way I could have kept training like that to the fall.  So, this is forcing me to reset and reflect and come back better.  Along with hopefully smarter and healthier too.  I plan to figure out the underlying issues because my first reaction to something should not have to be– did I break?

It is tough because injuries for me seem to be all or nothing making it hard to back off before it is too late. I wish I could train like crazy, run all the mileage and do all the workouts but in order to be a good runner you have to be a smart runner. And let me tell you that is a process!

And who knows maybe I have been over reacting to all of this but hey what is 2 weeks in he grand scheme of things. The nice thing is I am in next to no pain and slowly adding back in activity as tolerated and being extra cautious. The truth is with running if you push yourself there is a high chance you are going to cross the line at some point and if you do there is a increased risk of injury.

While I am backing off I have been really working on getting myself excited for other forms of exercise and this seems to be helping. These are things I would not normally be able to find the time to do.  For example cycling, yoga or 90mins of strength work.

All of this is of course a good reminder to never take running for granted.  And a reminder of how quickly I truly do. And that there is truly always something to be learned and somehow to grow from every experience so that is what I am going to focus on!


  • Training intensity dial approach
  • Get healthy
  • Never take running for granted–> BE GRATEFUL!
  • Reflect + Learn + Reset –> GROW!

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