On Variety in Training

by Gilbert Keith

When we train we may have a specific goal in mind. But it’s easy to lull ourselves into a false sense of specificity. Eg. That 2 hour half you are looking to run might be possible in ideal weather with 8 hours of sleep. But sometimes you are dealt 90% humidity or a sleepless night… what then?

One cannot, of course, structure her training around such contingencies. But one can create a regimen that exposes her to a variety of weather, geography, etc. that prepares her to face any circumstance. Experience can, in fact, be cultivated. Just try running a different route or run at different times of the day; skipping breakfast or having less clothing on should get you thinking. If you react unfavorably, you have found a new area for growth. Whether you choose to address it is a different story.

At the start line and at each mile marker you want to be confident about meeting your goal. Your breadth in training will help you relate your race conditions better to prior experiences, and maximize your chances of success.