We all have them, certain runs we'd rather do, or exercises in the gym that take our fancy. That's great and we of course want to enjoy our training. However, by only doing what you want to do, are you neglecting what you need to do to make progress?
Let's take a look at distance running. There are several elements which combine to determine our performance level. Endurance, speed, strength, flexibility and mobility are just a few components that play a role, although it could be argued that some are more important than others (depending on your event). Of these areas, we all have some that are more developed than others, and that's most likely a result of our training choices over time. The question is, do you have an area that is in desperate need of attention so that performances can improve?
Perhaps you're aiming for a PB in an upcoming half marathon. You love doing the longer runs but the shorter stuff just isn't for you. However, the fact is that both elements are important, so is it time to reassess and get down to Parkrun more often or do some 800m intervals once a week? Maybe you love running but you've never considered doing any strength or mobility work in the past. If you want to improve your times or you're constantly picking up annoying injuries, could it be time to address this area?
I'm asking you these questions today as it can be so easy to drift along when training, I've certainly done so on several occasions. Just do this run again or that gym session once more because it was enjoyable last time. However, it's worth sitting down sometimes and assessing where you're at, where you want to be and what you need to focus on to get there. It can be difficult to be completely honest with yourself about areas that aren't as strong as others, but it's ultimately worth it if we want to get better - and who doesn't want to get better?!
By Marc Brown