Marathon Training Week Twelve: Don’t Get Into a Rut

Let me be honest with you folks….I haven’t actually been faithful with my running since leaving the rental property on September 4.   Now I have been running but either shorter distances (three miles instead of four) or at a very slow pace.  The reason for this (other than my being lazy) is my body was used to the running route which I had completed dozens of times through the community of Craigieburn.  After a while you get so comfortable running that same trail that it becomes second nature; you know exactly where the hills are which will need extra energy…the downhill areas that allow you to catch your breath…the house where that ferocious man-eating Chihuahua lives.  The problem with this is eventually you have to start running a different route.

The afternoon after moving out of my house I decided to go for a leisurely four-mile run near the friend’s house where I was staying.  What started out as a strong run with a 9:25 pace ended up being a 9:55 mile with pain filled wheezing and gasping instead of the normal strong finish.  Thinking it was just a hard day I determined to run a different route the next morning and got as far as two and a half miles before giving up a mile and a half too early.  This shocked me since the Saturday before I had run seventeen miles (a personal best) but now three days later running four was an impossibility.  The reason is the long Saturday run was done on my home field; a place where I was comfortable.

Last Monday I started training again by running the route that had been run for years (literally completed it hundreds of times) and had little trouble running a 9:35 mile with most of the way back being uphill.  Since the old route was on the road so you have to get into the grass when cars come down the road (note to self…that’s not safe) I decided to take a different trail near the house.  You can guess what happened.  Yep, three miles into my five-mile run I gave into my cramping legs and quit two miles early in frustration.

The point is it’s really easy for us to get into a rut or comfortable way of doing things but if we don’t push ourselves out of that comfort zone every once in a while we will find ourselves frustrated and quitting early in the end.

Published by

John Wilburn

Church planter, teacher, and disciple-maker in Barrouallie St. Vincent

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