Monday, April 13, 2009

An inspiration: Kara Goucher

While walking today, my walking buddy and I were talking about training and how training for a race can actually be more rewarding than the race itself. This is something I desperately need to work on. Last year, building up to the Rock 'n Roll marathon in San Diego I did a handful of long runs (not surpassing 15-miles, though) and mostly stuck with 5-6 mile runs around my house.

Reading a recent interview with Kara Goucher on Runner's it looks like Kara's success truly kicked in (to high gear!) post college and with training. I think Kara is one of those amazingly talented natural runners. She's been running since Jr. highschool (I'm guessing before, too) and didn't really train for races - but she pushed to the max race days. Come college Kara started training to stay in the now much faster field. Post-college she became a true running star with U.S. records and the Olympics under her belt (running water belt?) In the RW interview, Kara notes training played a key role.

I think training is important for a few reasons:
  • It prepares you mentally - in any race there's going to be a hurdle, knowing your body can get over that hurdle is huge
  • It's fun! Training really is part of the race - while my "training" was minimal at best prior to San Diego, I got to enjoy San Francisco and Marin hills and trails in the prep - all of those made it a great race
  • Your body needs it - this is probably the no brainer, running takes a lot out of your body and muscles need to be prepped to go any distance

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