That's right, folks, you read that right. I, Lindsey Labrecque, am a lazy runner. I know what you're probably thinking; lazy runner is most certainly an oxymoron. Allow me to expound on this statement and surely you will agree it is quite possible to be an unmotivated runner.
Like many runners, I have a soft spot for certain types of training runs, and I truly despise and dread some types of training that are crucial to becoming a stronger, faster, and better runner. My specialty is the long run. While some people might look at 16+ mile run as pure torture and dread it all week long, I welcome the challenge with a huge smile on my face. If you think this qualifies as bragging, you are sorely mistaken. Here's the reason I love long runs: once I've reached the 4 or 5 mile mark, I go into auto-pilot. Once this happens, one of two things occur: my mind either goes completely blank and I power through the miles, barely noticing as they accumulate, or my mind completely dissects any problems with which I am currently struggling. Long runs always prove to be incredibly therapeutic for me.
So, now that I've explained one of my few strengths as a runner, I'll prove I am indeed a lazy runner. Basically, the only training run I ever look forward to is the long run. Thankfully, it is the most important type of training when getting ready for a marathon. That being said, one cannot improve and perform to their greatest potential on race day without taking all other aspects of training seriously. This includes speed work, tempo runs, hill repeats, intervals, threshold runs, and cross-training. Throw in a specialized diet, and now you have a list of all the things that typically cause me to crash and burn. I know they are all necessary evils, but I really, really, REALLY hate running on a track. How about those hill repeats? Ummm, yeah, who actually thinks running up a huge hill while sprinting and then repeating it 20 times is actually fun? As for threshold runs, you have got to be kidding me. As if I can run each mile faster than the previous one and do it for 10 miles. Oh, let's not forget about the whole specialized diet. Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows how much I love food. All food. In massive quantities. I'm also having a love affair with beer.
So, now my dirty secret is out. During the training for my previous two marathons, I always faltered with certain aspects of my schedule. While I followed all the scheduled mileage to a tee, I almost always got lazy during all those types of runs at which I do not excel. Looking back (because hindsight is 20/20, of course), I see how not giving it my all during many crucial runs hurt me in the end. Did I cross the finish line of both marathons with a smile on my face? Hell yes, but I certainly didn't finish feeling strong. In my mind, I could never come to terms with how or why doing speed intervals or tempos would help me run 26.2 miles. Now I know putting more effort into every component of my training will make me a better runner and an all- around stronger person. This time around, instead of just trying to finish, I'm setting a time goal for myself, and I know I won't be able to achieve that by only giving it my all during my long runs. When I start to struggle or I'm tempted to give up or take the easy way out, I'll keep the following quote in mind: "No one said it would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it" (Harvey Mackay). It certainly will be worth it when I kick my marathon PR in the ass in October.