By Chamberlain Zulauf, Student Reporter
Week three is the end of the “rust busting period” I mentioned in the last installment. Although I did between five and seven miles on weekdays, with a long run on Sunday, the mileage isn’t what a competitive runner would call real. The past months’ worth of running has been breezy in that I could essentially just get up and go on a run as if I were riding a bike through the park. In these past three weeks of running low mileage I’ve been able to enjoy the notion that the training was fun— this week of the training program is the last time all summer I’ll be able to hold onto that.
That is a statement which makes me want to explain myself: the idea of fun wouldn’t cross my mind seven miles deep into a 10-miler, especially since I have the same thing tomorrow and endured it the day before. However, saying I won’t be having fun doesn’t mean I’m not still enjoying myself. I don’t personally believe you need to be having fun to enjoy the process or even to achieve the goals you have. The fact I did have fun the first three weeks is a testament to my indelible love for the sport, and so is my steady descent into real mileage to come.
Going into next week what I hold on to, instead of having fun, is the commitment I made three weeks ago when I started this training. I’ll be holding onto the fact that I have teammates across the country going through the same thing I am. I’ll be holding onto the fact that my training partner, Peter, will be at the Roanoke track at 8 a.m. every morning. The point of being on a team is knowing that things like that are an absolute which in turn fosters assurance and comfort in the individual. Week three is the turning point in the training program as there is a mindset shift but also an athlete runs out of excuses to slack, no pun intended.
There’s debate over how long it takes someone to form a habit. Coaches training plan is designed for an athlete to have formed their summer habits by the end of this week. These include periodical core and lifting, consistent stretching, constant hydration and a strict running schedule. What makes the coming mileage real is that I won’t be able to get through it without having formed these habits. What makes the coming mileage real is that the training starts to feel a lot more serious.
Chamberlain Zulauf is a Roanoke College student and writer for the RC student newspaper, Brackety-Ack.