Learn from training mistakes to become better

After my first article seen July 2, I am feeling motivated and willing to accomplish every training I schedule according to my program.

I ran the Firecraker 5K after some time not running 5K distances. My time was 21 minutes, 6 seconds. That is not that bad for my age. I got eighth place overall and second in my age group. Hopefully, I’ll be able to improve my time once I start doing my speed work.

Monday June 26, I did my easy run that usually takes me from my home to North high school with a total of 6.3 miles. Something I noticed is that after the 5K race two days earlier and an extra seven miles after the race, I was feeling really tired during my Monday easy run. Plus, the temperature was in the 90s, and humidity was really high. Sometimes, this tired feeling makes me wonder how I can accomplish my training since my brain is saying, ‘How come there are other times when you can run the same distance, the same pace, without this feeling?’ To combat these thoughts, I start analyzing all the conditions. At this point, my body is adapting to new weather, and it is not the same to run in 70-degree weather as it is at 90 degrees.

This moment of self-doubt is also part of the training. I am not only training the body to deal with the running, but also train my brain to not give up and analyze every run. I usually keep all that information in my running diary in an Excel file in order to keep motivated.

On Tuesday June 27, I did hill repetitions. They went well and with no issues. However, my hard tempo was really hard. Since I had to deal with the weather, and that afternoon it was sunny and there was no shade to hide under, I had to walk two times during the 25 minutes at 7-minute per mile pace. As mentioned, I am an average runner and still make mistakes or go out too fast after my mile warmup. This is an example of another situation I cannot explain. I am able to run a 5K at 6:40 pace; however when I do my speed work, I can run a quarter-mile at the same pace but get really tired. I am I pretty sure adrenaline plays a big role in a race.

My 16-mile long distance run on Saturday did not go well. After mile 10, I was having a lot of pain above my shoulders and had to go back home after mile 14. Part of my cross-training with weights might have caused my shoulder pain. I need to take it easy with cross-training. I have already made that note in my diary in order to not to make that mistake again.

During this training season, I am trying to keep motivated, even if I did not accomplish 100 percent of what was in the training schedule. Whenever I struggle with this, I think back to a comment I read from other runners: “Training is to know if you are capable of doing something.” We make mistakes, and that is why is called training. You are not in a race, and all observations need to be taken into account in order to have the best experience and keep running.

On Saturday July 1, my daughters came to visit us, and we enjoyed every moment at home. These are moments that don’t happen too often, and nothing is more important than family time. I had to skip my cross-training from Sunday July 2.

The Fourth of July week made the training more complicated. In my case, I was out of town on vacation with family and was expecting to keep up with my training program. As I mentioned before, running is to enjoy, and if I miss a day of training, I can recover later on. I do not like to think that running is my life because there are many other aspects of my life.

On Monday July 3, I had to travel to Chicago and thus had to skip my afternoon training. Instead, I did my tempo moderate hill exercise the next morning. I felt good with no issues, but the normal tiredness of the exercise, I did my easy run on Wednesday July 5 with our Venados running club in Chicago and did my hill repetitions on the next night at the gym of the hotel where I was vacationing.

Regarding my food, intake is going to be easy since having a buffet all day in the hotel is easy to eat all types of good and healthy food. I like salmon as my first choice when having dinner.

I will need to pay attention to my speed work since I have not attempted this for some time, and any signal of pain or soreness I will need to back up. As mentioned, it is training, and we need to learn from it.

At a glance

Cesar Gamez’ training program for this week:

Monday: Easy run, 45 minutes

Tuesday: Four half-mile reps at 6:30 pace

Wednesday: Cross training

Thursday: Tempo hard run for 25 minutes at 7:15 pace

Friday: Rest

Saturday: Race simulation of five miles at 8:00 pace and seven miles at 7:30 pace

Sunday: Cross training