5 ways Distance Running feels like Tabata

The fartlekking post may have been your first clue, and its true; I’ve been branching out my non-running workouts.  In an effort to one day manage a sub 5-hour marathon, I’m trying to fill gaps my previous training left, trying to tie up those tendonitisy loose ends and fractured tarsals. So, there’s a lot more cross training and weight work to be done, and here I am in a boot camp class, erging away and facing one of the most vomit-inducing physical challenges EVER (yes, I say that having run a marathon). Tabata you beautiful twisted thing, you, you might almost be as gnarly as 26.2 miles.  In a moment of clarity during one of said torturous routines, I discovered that my brain follows a pretty familiar pattern to the one it adopts on long runs:

Denial 

It’s not that bad! I can totally handle this. These sets will be over before I know it.

Spoiler– WRONG! wrong, wrong! It is that bad, it hurts a lot, and it seems like an eternity- a lot like running a marathon.

Anger

STUPID TABATA, who comes up with this stuff anyways?! I demand answers! erg erg erg

Mile 14 of a marathon- Screw you Pheidippides, why didn’t you just send a carrier pigeon or, I DUNNO, ANYTHING besides run all that way.  Serves you right. grrr!

Bargaining

I swear, if I can just make it through this next set, I won’t come to class, ever again!

Mile 20 of a marathon- All right, feet, if you help me get through this, I promise we’ll get a massage, and stop running, and drink milkshakes ’til we’re in a coma.

Depression

If only I were in better shape, this wouldn’t hurt so badly.  I feel sad about my poor broken body.

Mile 21 of a marathon- my life is crap. there is no hope. not now. not ever. pain is my life.

Acceptance- 

Tabata- It might end, but who cares. my muscles are permanently messed up. whatever.

Marathon- It’s never going to end. My muscles are mush, my feet are in pieces, and I’ll be crippled.  sigh. might as well keep going. the hurt feeds my sad little soul.

So I haven’t abandoned tabata workouts just yet, maybe, maybe its because there’s something to them, just like there’s something to running for 5 hours solid.

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