A switch went off and I realized that the immediate gratification days were over and now, in order to find continued success, I must learn patience. In the subsequent three years, I learned the importance of rest, periodization in training, and, for lack of any better way of putting it, the importance of letting the training come to me.
It turned out that in my decade long build-up, I had been in a cycle of more, better, faster and was never allowing myself to just revel in the training and, in the wise words of veteran ultrarunner Tim Fitzpatrick, I never allowed the training to just “sink in.” Once I understood the need to do that and found a way to integrate a patient approach with my training, I embarked on a seven-year joy ride of training and racing between 2004 and 2011 that only ended when injury got the better of me. -Andy Jones-Wilkins, irunfar.com
This quote ‘hits the nail on the head’ for me, in this season of running. There is a high in the cycle of more, better, faster. BUT, there is a maturity and peace in allowing myself to just revel in the training. . . allowing the training to just sink in. There is a spectrum we can enjoy as runners, that can take us from the 100 yard dash to the 100 mile ultra run, from the track to the road to the trail. There is so much you can choose to do and be in this spectrum. Not one choice makes you less of a competitor. Not one choice makes you more of a competitor. You are still a runner. You still need rest. You still need to train. You still need to eat well to support your training. You CAN have continued success.
I’m going to leave you with a few more quotes that I keep close. These are from the book, Flow in Sports by Susan Jackson and Mihaly Csikszentmihayi.
Life is most exhilarating when we are deeply involved in a complex challenge. The best strategy for enjoying life is to develop whatever skills one has and to use them as fully as possible.
The race must be won in the mind a hundred times before it is finally won in reality.
Self-concept is not static: every day the self-concept faces new challenges that will either enhance or detract from it.