Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Finish Strong

Yes, those are Asics shoes on Marco. We didn't have much choice at Sports Authority. No kids adidas running shoes and the only Nike were Shox and no thanks on them.

Cross Country practice tonight was a good lesson for all of us. The workout for the kids after the warm up was 5 X 1200 (turned into 4 for everyone) on the grass. This course is tough with a climb and a fast finish each loop consisting of 400 meters. The goal was to get faster with each 1200. Group number one had a coach (father) running with them. He kept the pace steady and that group ended up running each 1200 a bit faster. The second group, the one with Marco did not have that pacing. So they had to do it on their own. They ran #1 good and slow. #2 saw the group really spread out with some kids going out too hard. #3 saw the pace pick up dramatically with the group bunched together until the final sprint. #4 was totally spread out again with kids dying. One of those kids was Marco. In fact he finished last in the group. On #3 he finished 3rd. After #3 he came over to me and said his leg was driving him crazy (Poison Ivy). He asked to stop running and go home. I knew better though. I had seen his effort on #3 and knew that he had run too fast. It was the effort that was hurting not the leg. So I said we would evaluate after #4. Once I saw him running I knew he had over extended himself and it was time to shut it down. So after #4 I called him over and told him to walk it off.

The point of this is that we all do it. We all get super excited about something and dive into it full blast. Then we slow down with as much escaping energy. Marco doesn't know better. He was running with Nelson and Nelson was running fast so he should. But we know better. We know it's better to pace ourselves into something to make sure it lasts. Why don't we do it? Are we that impatient that we can't wait? Probably so.

My coach has a mantra he rides fairly hard. The key long run of the week is done in 3rds. 1st third slow and controlled. 2nd 3rd, moderate and the final 3rd holding that moderate pace. Not easy because when your tired you want to slow down. All other workouts, finish strong. We should take that as our life mantra, Finish Strong. We'd all be better for it.

It's a good life...
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