I’m preparing to run a 10K. That’s 6.2 miles.
I have five running books on the desk behind me, all with multi-week race preparation plans. I’ve spent much time weighing which plan to use. I count the weeks until September 27. I read the details about training elements. Speed runs, striders, interval training. I knew nothing about these two months ago. Stretching, strength training, long runs. Each has advocates and strategies.
The plan I’m choosing for this first 10K is the one that says to run, and then simply says how much time to run or rest each day. It says, “during your first year of running, don’t worry about speed and intervals, just run at a moderate speed.” And those times are simple. On Mondays, for example, I run for 40 minutes for the first seven weeks, and then 45 minutes for the last three.
I love this simplicity because I’m easily confused. I love it because it’s addressed to beginning runners when a focus on basics is essential. I love it because the writers know that success isn’t in times, it’s in actually running.
But here’s what I’m learning in spite of all the books. Reading for 35 minutes doesn’t build my capacity to run unless I actually run for 35 minutes. And then for 40 minutes.
James (the brother of Jesus) was talking about this gap between reading and running, though for a different kind of race. He says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” He says, “But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
I’ll talk more about what doing looks like tomorrow. But I need to go run for 45 minutes.