This is likely to be another unconventional post for me. I’m also wiritng it on my phone and I probably won’t edit it, so forgive any typos or weird grammatical anomalies.
So, I started this blog to document my journey to running a sub-5 minute mile. It’s no secret that I love love obstacle course racing. Oddly enough, the two don’t go together as well as you’d think. That’s not to say many successful OCR racers can’t run a 5 minute mile. In fact, I bet most of the best could do just that. But, for a lay person just starting out, training for both at the same time probably isn’t the best strategy.
What your body needs to develop to run a fast mile is pretty different from what you need to run a 26.2 at any speed. And if you compare that to what you need for OCR it’s a different game completely. I was previously preparing myself for OCR. The focus on this sport bled over into this blog, which got away from me talking about running and the new health or fitness things I learned and it pretty much became Race Review Central.
I still value the race reviews and I’m going to continue doing them, but if I really want to reach my goal I need to change focus a bit. I need to focus on running. I’m doing this for two reasons: first, there’s no chance of ever getting on a podium if you can’t run fast, and two, doing a bunch of pull-ups does absolutely nothing for my mile time. (Full disclosure: I can currently do exactly .5 pull-ups)
I did a lot of self-examination and decided that I’m strong enough (for now). I genuinely love lifting heavy weight, but it’s not really helping me much. I was already strong. I’ve always been strong. Even when I did my first races, completely untrained, I had no problems with any of the strength obstacles. I don’t need to spend hours every week working on the things I’m good at. What I’m not good at is running 4-14 miles straight or with any speed.
That being said, supporting you body weight with your hands is critical in OCR, so I’m going to work at that as well. My training for this will be a little different as well, since my grip is actually pretty good. Somewhere between my elbows and my lats something is weak. It’s this break in the chain that makes those overhead grip obstacles so hard for me. I’m also still over 250 lbs, which doesn’t help either!
So, focus is going to shift to running and hanging from things. I think that removing the other body parts will be less wear on my body and it will allow me to recover faster. Also, it’s going to take the thinking out of it. If each day I’m working those two things in some way, I know I can reach my goals.
I want to call myself “A Runner” again. This portion might be more controversial, but please understand this is just about me. Most people hold themselves to a higher standard than they do other people. I’m no different. I’d say most people who run, are runners. But I don’t say that about myself. For me to call myself that I’d have to feel like I’m not just someone who runs, but that running is part of my identity. I don’t have to be ‘good’ at it, it just has to be something I associate with who I am. Right now I run, and I do races. Running is a part of all that, but it’s not everything.
Years ago there was a feeling I had when I was a runner. Running was different for me back then. I loved it. I missed it when I didn’t do it. And it was something I looked forward to. Now, it’s just sort of a feature of the other thing I’m doing (OCR). I’m putting it back out on the internet that I’m committing to my goal of breaking a sub-5 minute mile. I hope that anyone who reads this will help keep accountable on that commitment. In fact, let’s give myself a year from today. July 14th, 2019. Last time I did this I have myself a year and I barely made it to an 8 minute mile. I let my OCR training distract me and I fell short. I don’t want to make that mistake again. So, here we go.
I guess it’s time to go dust off those running shoes…