Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Running in a Bubble

I'm fortunate to be a part of a really supportive running community. It's really like a protective little bubble. We all really encourage each other. When one of us trips, someone is there to pick them up. Be it with words or a kind gesture, our running bubble feels just like one big happy family.

Until it doesn't.



This week, someone posted this comment in a thread in one of the online fitness groups that I belong to:
I don’t think people should train for a half on 3 days a week. Nothing wrong with 3 days a week, but run a 10k... in my opinion of course"
This comment was in response to a call-to-action seeking opinions on interesting fitness topics to write about. One of the choices was training for a half marathon on 3 days of running, which was a very popular choice within the group. However, the commenter struck a nerve with more than a few of the group members, many of whom run successfully on 3 days of training per week.

Unfortunately, in an attempt to excuse himself, the original commenter dug an even deeper hole.
"I should clarify that yes you can do it, but it’s not ideal. I think you need to run more mileage than 3 days a week can safely produce to run 13.1 miles well...Everyone is correct that it’s what works for them. I came from a college running program where I was running 90 miles a week. I’m certainly not doing that now, which is why I feel I could never run a half marathon on such little running. It’s my bias and I shouldn’t shout from the rooftops my feelings."
Reading these comments stung. It upset me more than I care to admit, piercing my already fragile runner's soul. In fact, I bit back at him and called him out for what he said, as did a few others in the group. When I went out for my long run the next day, I ruminated about his remarks.


I don't know if I struggled on my run because I was upset about the post or if I was just having another bad day, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't shake off the funk. I'd make an effort to clear my mind and focus on my run, but I kept going back to his comments.

This bad run, one in a series of recent bad runs, added yet another bruise to my hurting ego.

Why did these comments bother me so much?

It's no secret that for the past year or so, I've been having troubles with running. In spite of my woes, I've continued to train and run half marathons. It's been mentally difficult for me to see my paces declining. I've even had thoughts of giving up running--or at least long distance running. Can you imagine? I've been a runner for over 25 years. While I've never been fast, I've embraced my place in the middle of the pack and continue to challenge myself with tough workouts.

Comments like the one made in the fitness group reminded me that not everyone embraces the middle of the pack or the back of the pack philosophy. My measly 25 miles per week is not worthy of a half marathon? I've never run anything close to 90 miles per week. I don't think that even at the height of my fitness that 90 miles was remotely possible! What about those run/walk intervals? Am I even a real runner anymore?

I shudder to think what the commenter's opinion would be of my CrossFit inspired marathon training from a few years ago. I trained on 3-4 runs per week, 2 days of cross-training, and my peak mileage week was 38 miles. At age 52, I ran 4:17 at the Chicago Marathon and had the race of my life. I recovered without injury and went on to run a 1:52 half marathon 6 weeks later. My longest run for that race was a 10 miler and I maintained my usual weekly mileage of 25 miles.


After I ran the Walt Disney World half marathon in 2011, my family and I were on the airport shuttle with a bunch of other runners. I remember there was this couple on the shuttle, wearing their half, full and Dopey medals. They just oozed with confidence. Someone asked the woman about her races and her offhand "NBD" answer struck me as dismissive. Remember, I only ran the half. It was as if we weren't worthy.

Runners can be like this. It's been so long since I've encountered this elitist attitude that I forgot what it feels like. Oh, there was that guy I tried to make small talk with at the Lakefront 10 miler in April who acted like he didn't know that the Boston Marathon took place the week before.

Riiiiiight. Being dissed by an elitist jerk never feels good.

This post is an effort to offer my rebuttal to the commenter above. This post is an effort to make myself feel better about what I do on the road. This post is also for all the middle and the back of packers who are just doing their best to chase a dream or a goal. I saw a lot of them out there last weekend on my long run. They encouraged me as much as I encouraged them with a smile or a wave. That's what those of us in the bubble do.

There were also plenty of runners out there who didn't acknowledge my smile or wave, as if I didn't exist. That never feels good.

Allowing negativity to just roll off my back has never been easy for me. I am a perfectionist and I always push myself to be my best. It doesn't take much for self-doubt to seep into my brain. I am valiantly trying to get my head around getting older and slower. It's harder than you can imagine.

The nice benefit of our running bubble is the support of all the members of the group. If one of the runners shares a question or an issue, the response is always positive and encouraging. Having been on the receiving end of that support, I can vouch for the effectiveness of that kind of sustenance.

Is that a bad thing? If lifting each other up is wrong, then I don't want to be right.

A big part of my "success" on the road is due to the people I surround myself with. My best running has taken place since I started my blog. I give credit to my running friends, who give me encouragement to keep on keeping on. My blog readers, who took the time to read my recent post about a particularly difficult run and leave thoughtful comments and suggestions gave me the courage to attempt to run long again. My social media followers who tell me what an inspiration I am to them keep me running.

I don't aspire to inspire. But when you hear these comments enough, you start to think that you're doing something right. That even though running is very hard for me right now, I'm going to keep on going because someone out there thinks I'm doing ok.

While I don't run to prove anything to anyone but myself, hearing positive affirmations sure beats being told that what you're doing doesn't matter. That you're not trying hard enough. That your best effort just isn't good enough. That because you don't run every day or 90 miles per week, you're not "safe" to run a certain distance.

If nothing else, the comments I reacted to strongly to have served a purpose for me. Those comments only strengthened my resolve to continue to train for my half. I'll do it my way. I'll try to give myself grace. I'll continue to work on my mental game and on accepting the kinder, gentler, slower runner I'm aging into. It's not easy and giving myself grace is a work in progress. Pardon me for feeling a bit tender about it.

Drop down to a 10k? Not this runner.

Hey, we're all runners, right? If I run the same race as you, I'll receive the same medal. Even if I finish an hour or 2 after you. If I feel good about my training and my effort, nothing else should matter.

Especially not an elitist opinion. Let's build each other up, not tear each other down.

Now that I've said what's on my mind, I can let it go.


I want to thank the commenter for giving me food for thought and to reaffirm why I run. Let's all continue to support each other. Give someone encouragement, no matter how much you're struggling. And thank you to all of you who lift me up!

I'm linking this post with Marcia, Erika, and Patti for Tuesdays on the Run and Debbie, Marc, Lora, and Rachel for Running Coaches' Corner.










77 comments :

  1. Hey, elitist jerk is right! There have been plenty of books and magazine articles written about running 3 days/week for marathon and half marathon training. I did it and qualified for Boston when I was in my 50s. The plan I am (was) now following had me running 6 days/week, and that was just too much. I tried to do a long run yesterday, and had to cut it short due to injury. My hip pain came back. I think I was just running too many miles. I have a marathon coming up in August, so I will probably go to the pool and try to rehab, but I am going to cut my running back to reasonable levels. I want to enjoy my running, not have it be a stresser!

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    1. Like I responded to him, it's all about goals. For us, our goals are usually personal goals. We sure don't need to run high miles for that.

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  2. I think a supportive bubble can be a good thing! As for this specific comment, I think perspective and target audience matters. For someone like you with years of running and a solid fitness base, of course you don't need to run that much. For someone just starting out with specific race goals, 3 x/week might not be enough. But, the answer surely would discourage someone starting out who wasn't ready or able to dedicate 4-5 days/week to running. We know that, which is why our stories do inspire others. That said, I think old-school running "experts" haven't come around to the advantages of cross-training. Some RW articles today still say the best way to get better/stronger/faster at running is to run more, even though cross-training works better for me.

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    1. I truly think that people who can run those high mileage plans are genetically gifted. Most of us are not. I thought we were past the days of runners dissing the slower runners. The best thing about running is that everyone can do it. All you need is a pair of shoes.

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  3. There's a banker's son in my town. He does at least one Ironman a year, and usually a few other big races. Since his daddy owns the bank, this guy pretty much has the luxury of working when it fits his schedule...so he can train whenever he feels the need. When I registered for my first marathon, I happened to see him at a social function and he asked me if I had any races coming up, so I told him that I had finally gotten the courage to do a marathon. His reply? "Gosh, I can barely remember those days when I was just running marathons..." Thankfully, I already knew he was an arrogant dude with an ego the size of Soldier Field, so his comment didn't sting (much). But still..."just running marathons?"

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    1. Ugh. When people say that kind of stuff to me, I always wish I had a quick wit to come back with an equally assholian comment. Even if you know the person is a jerk, those comments always bite. Glad he didn't discourage you to stop training!

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  4. When I saw his comment, I thought it was an incredibly narrow-minded, ignorant thing to say but I did not feel offended because I know better. I couldn't give a flying fuck about what anybody thinks of the way I train. Running has taken me and you too, to amazing places. We know what works for us and we'll keep on going.

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    1. I'm feeling a little sensitive these days. It's hard to say goodbye to those "fast" finish times and paces. I'm getting used to it, tho, and I'll be ok. The wound is still a little raw.

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  5. Every word of this post hit home, even though I'm not "just marathoning." Yikes! What is it with some people? I can almost physically, certainly emotionally, feel your pain/anger/anguish. Like you, I am a perfectionist and if someone denigrated what I do I'd take it personally.

    I'm sure to many folks my meager efforts to get back to 5K are laughable, but to me it means the world. I achieved my small goals in large part because of the encouragement of other. I have many friends (yourself included, who are multiple marathoners and have run literally dozens of half marathons. Yet each one of them cheers my efforts as though we are equals. It feels good.

    With more than ten years on you, I am also very aware of aging and how one has no choice but to adapt. If it's any consolation, while I sang the song that I would be okay if I had to use the run/walk method in order to keep running, that is only what my head said and knew. It was not until I fully embraced it with my heart and soul that it made a difference. I feel a massive weight lifted from my shoulders, I am once again able to look forward to each run instead of fearing that I may not be up to the task of the day. That, too, feels wonderful.

    As you know, I took eleven months off from running. I thought at the time that it was the end, but over the past year realized how much I missed it. When I stopped last June, even running a 4/1 run/walk ratio was not possible and no fun. I was not able to complete even a short run. Now it's once again enjoyable. Little did I know that taking that time off was the best thing I could have done. Even if I never run/walk more than 5K, I am happy to be back in the running community.

    Thanks for some thoughtful insights. They help. Keep on running.

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    1. We all are doing our thing and that is all we need. I feel bad that this guy's comments struck a nerve. I'd like to just stay in my little protective bubble, if that's ok!

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  6. I think it says a lot that the majority of the group was able to say that they have trained on 3 days a week and that it works for them. Isn't that enough proof that it can work? I feel like as much as I would love to be a high mileage runner again it's been more important to accept where I am right now and what my body will allow me to do without getting injured. Besides the fact that who really has time to run 90 miles a week?

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    1. Not only the time, but the desire? 90 miles per week sounds like a job to me. Plus, what is safe about that?

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  7. Ugh, I actually left a Facebook running group because there was a group of guys like that one. Streaking, bragging about how many miles without taking any time to recover, it was all about setting records, etc. I am a back of the packer right now, and while I am working on getting faster, I remember why I run and put my health and long term injury prevention first and foremost. I have run 50Ks on three days a week, haha. And I wasn't DFL.

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    1. I like the ultra community for the way they embrace everyone of all abilities and paces! It's so laid back compared to the road runners. I'm glad you found your niche.

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  8. I have to say, I chuckled when I read his comment. I didn't take offense at all, but I couldn't help but wonder what he'd think of me!

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    1. I'm pretty sure you know the answer to that!!!

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  9. This is one reason I don't get caught up in those Facebook groups. I admit they sure can be supportive but who has time to ponder all the other nonsense . You just do you. Snd do far Wendy you've been doing you pretty darn well! And yes, I've trained for a half marathon on only 3 runs a week and I didn't even ask anyone opinion on it and it worked out just fine...lol. I guess it all depends on what your goal is.

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    1. That was exactly my response to him!

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  10. I started running seven years ago and have done everything from 5Ks all the way up to six full marathons (including two within three weeks of each other). I have never trained on more than three days/week of running, aside from the occasional attempt at four days/week (which has never lasted more than a couple consecutive weeks, because it's just too much for me), and I have yet to DNF or DNS due to a lack of training. The idea that you can't run a half marathon (or a full marathon, for that matter) on three days a week of running is ludicrous, and I'm living proof of it. No, I'm not going to win any races any time soon, but that hardly seems like the point, especially in a sport like running where only a few dozen people are able to make a living off of it. The hundreds of thousands of the rest of us are only doing it as a hobby, no matter how seriously you take it (or your training). And obviously if you're going to run three days a week and train for a long distance race, that doesn't mean you get to sit on the couch plowing through pints of Ben and Jerry's the other four days of the week: you're going to have to do some sort of cross training. But if that's what works for you, so be it! At the end of the day, the vast majority of us are running because it brings us some level of happiness. I cannot fathom that attempting to fit 90 miles into my week--for me, that would be close to 2 hours and 15 minutes of running PER DAY--would make me any happier, even if it did make me a faster runner.

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    1. I don't think there's very many of us who could run 90 miles per week and to even put it out there as the only way to train--for a half, no less--is absurd.

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  11. My best marathon was the one that I finally admitted I couldn't run 5-6 days a week. I rode my bike twice a week and ran no more than 4 times. I made each run count and took it easy on the bike on my easy days (I cannot run "easy") And I made it to the starting line without any injuries.

    Coming back from a severe ankle sprain right now it doesn't feel like I'll ever run fast or far again, but I'm not giving up! I think most of us are hard enough on ourselves - we don't need anyone else tearing us down.

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    1. I trained for Big Sur on pool running and cycling. I was fighting plantar fasciitis. I had no goal but to enjoy the ride and finish. Think of all that I would have missed had I been running fast.

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  12. That comment and your reaction to it is why I stopped reading online running forums (Reddit, I'm looking at you) - new runners would ask reasonable questions, like why they bonked on a run, or how much fuel they needed, and jerks would reply that they could run a half marathon without any fuel, water only after an hour, etc. EVERYONE'S NEEDS ARE DIFFERENT. Yes I'm shouting, but quite honestly, I've gotten some comments on my blog about how I don't need as much fuel or hydration as I use. To that, I want to say HOW WOULD YOU KNOW? Because, again, everyone is different. Ugh. People. Back to my bubble!!!

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  13. As someone that has successfully trained for a half marathon running 3 days a week, I groaned when I read his comment. But I wasn’t surprised because he has come off a little arrogant in previous posts/blogs. Every runner needs to do what is best for his/her body. For me, strength training is key so that’s always a huge part of my training!

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    1. Strength training saved me from injury. I can't imagine having someone like that coach me for a race--everyone has different needs and goals, and it's the coach's job to guide the runner through that. At least that's my perspective.

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  14. YES! I love Yasso's quote. It doesn't matter how you get to the start line - 25 miles, 90 miles, whatever. It matters that you had the courage to start and you learned things along the way. You're still showing up, and you'll still cover the exact same distance.

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    1. Bart is still running, slow, but he's doing it!

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  15. Haters will be haters, it doesn't matter if they run or not. There is people everywhere who doubt others can accomplish what they can or can't, and their goal is to bring people down.

    Stay with the half marathon and do what you want! You know your body, you know what you can do, you got this!!

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    1. I just don't get those kind of people!

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  16. So I remember seeing this comment last week as well and was immediately surprised that it posted where it was. In the last few years, I've tended to back away from conflict and I did not post a response to it. Now I wish I had too. I am middle of the pack runner and could never run more than 3 days a week but I've completed many half marathons. So yes, this comment kind of made me doubt myself as well. It's unfortunate that this was posted where it was but I am going to assume it was not their intention to make anyone else feel bad.

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    1. I would assume the poster's intent was just to express his opinion and not to offend as well. But that's exactly what happened. I think it was good for all of us to examine how we feel about where we are at with our running.

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  17. That's the drawback about message boards. People feel empowered to say things they shouldn't, since no one sees their face. I did feel self-conscience when I decided I wasn't going to do much beyond 10k's. I knew my body would appreciate the shorter distance, but I couldn't help but feel if my blog was still worthy without talking about training for a half. Now I'm having fun, posting about 10k's, and owning it :)

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  18. Well, I just ran a full marathon on 3 days a week (wonder what his comment would have been on that?). If it weren't for the high altitude, I think I would have come away with a decent finish time too; at least for me. People who make comments like this are usually insecure. Keep doing you, my friend.

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    1. You did the best you could that day until the altitude took its toll. You couldn't have controlled it even if you ran 6 days per week! Yep, we just gotta keep during our thing.

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  19. I have been lucky. To an elitist like that, it would never be worth my time to race because just look how slow I am. There are runners who think that if you can't run a 10mm what's the point? Oh how I wish a 10mm was my easy pace. Not even close.

    I actually have a half written blog mostly about this subject. It was inspired by an article shared months ago. I'm still working on it.

    Bottom line: who the heck even cares how anyone else trains? As long as they're not endangering other people, it's THEIR business!

    Although I do want to reach out to the local runner who is attempting her first 50k -- and seems rather proud of the fact that she's injured, admittedly undertrained, AND has a cold. Why? What are you trying to prove? I always think someone's first experience, of a distance, should be as awesome as possible.

    I've held my tongue, though. It's not my place. Maybe she'll have an awesome race. I hope so.

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    1. It's not anyone's place to criticize how another runner trains. We might not agree with what they are doing but in the end, it's their body and their event.

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  20. I saw that post. It was really annoying. Until last winter, I was always a high mileage runner and that worked well for me. I cut back because I wanted to fit in strength training and guess what? I had some of my best half marathons. There are lots of roads to a successful half or full marathon - I think when people see "run 3 times a week" they automatically assume you are doing no other workouts on the non-running days. Don't let that person get to you.

    -MCM Mama

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    1. I'd bet that those 90 milers aren't doing other workouts! When would you have the time? I'm good. I just needed to get this off my chest. It's been simmering there for a while.

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  21. Stay in the bubble, it is nicer in here! As my running has reduced due to illness and injury, I find the ones who claimed to be friends have vanished or only poke their heads out if there is an inkling I may be running again and they want to go on a 5 mile run at my pace because "I need to run slower, I can't manage to run that slow on my own." While it didn't surprise me it did hurt. I will focus on the friends who show concern when I have a DNF or they can see in my face (even a picture on FB) something is wrong. Those are the people we keep in our bubble.

    As far as running a 1/2 on 3 days a week, the guy doesn't know what he is talking about. A friend of mine ran Boston, with a qualifying time, not a charity, and her training for the qualification marathon, the marathon she ran after qualification to get in a closer wave, and Boston itself runs 3 days a week, she has 3 solid freaking runs: a speed workout, Tempo, and long and she re-qualified for Boston beating her three previous Boston times. So um, I think it can be done. (and she works full time and has three kids and a husband) Maybe its just men who need to do more than three runs? Ok so that was not called for!

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    1. I have a friend who qualified for Boston on 3 runs per week as well. There are a lot of ways to train for a race!

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  22. Ahh.... opinions are like assholes, everybody has one. Some people just like to show their's off like that guy. And, I'm pretty sure the Run Less, Run Faster premise is about training on only 3 runs a week so clearly he has no idea what he's talking about.

    But, I feel you. I get bothered by stuff like that too and I immediately start to question myself. Always have. Am working on NEVER doing it again. Of course, that's difficult and sometimes a good run where I'm piecing together all the crap needs to happen. I'm glad you found your resolve. I'm glad you're being true to yourself. I'm glad you're getting out there! <3

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    1. I like your opinion! LOL! I was going to use that saying in this post but I couldn't find a way to work it in. It's all good.

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  23. Yeah I saw that comment and thought what an asshole, but truly gave it no more time and energy than that. I guess I realized early on when I first started reading running blogs and participating in FB groups and Twitter chats that people were going to bemoan times and paces I would love to be running, who were going to have opinions about the "right" way to train, and that I'd have to learn to let it go or let others ruin running for me.

    Just keep doing you Wendy! I'm glad you keep pushing - you do inspire me :)

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    1. This post has been brewing in my head for a while, so I guess I can thank the poster for inspiring me to actually put it out there. It probably stung more because I'm struggling so much these days.

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  24. It's hard, I've been running for 40 years (!) And used to win races back in the day. But now I only run a couple times a week and never run races. Sometimes I miss the days when I was a "real runner" but I have also had an ACL reconstruction and meniscus repair. I also love the things I do on non running days like hiking, snowboarding, kayaking...my goal is just to keep running for the long term. So I'm ok with it.

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    1. I'm getting there, to that point where I'm ok with slowing down. It's hard to accept. In my mind, I"m still in my 30s...

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  25. Coaches need to learn that runners are individuals, with different goals, abilities, and interests. While the science of running may say run more to run better, a coach should know that doesn’t work for everybody (or every body). A little diplomacy goes a long way too! Which is why a runner needs to find a coach whose philosophy aligns with their own.

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    1. That is exactly what I commented on your post (which was great, btw). I think it is so important to guide the runner to success, as defined by the runner, not the coach. I bet no one thinks about how the coach's ego comes into play, but this incident sure brought that to the forefront!

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  26. I've been a runner for 45-years plus and, um, HELLO - I'm a three-day-a-week trainer (half and full marathons). Non-runners and runners alike are shocked at my schedule, but it keeps me injury free and RUNNIN'!

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    1. I have since found that most runners I know do a 3-4 run per week schedule! I'm pretty sure we are all just fine.

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  27. Hi Wendy-

    I am surprised that his comment bothered you so much.

    You know that this isn't true!

    Maybe he just doesn't know a diverse group of runners?

    As a long time runner and a top running blogger, YOU know LOTS of runners - and you know many many people who have successfully run 1/2s and fulls on 3x a week runs.

    On the internet and in real life, there is no reason to take all the comments from all people with the same amount of weight. Maybe, if you knew him "In Real Life", you'd take his comment with a grain of salt and it would just roll off your back like water off a duck.

    I think he's entitled to his opinion. He says the HE wouldn't run a half on that little running. He tried to soften his statement a bit, "shouldn't shout from the rooftops." "Everyone is correct if it works for them." I think he was saying that he doesn't think 3x a week would work for HIM.

    Maybe he needs lots of miles to get his confidence up for running a half?

    It sounds like his framework for training is his college coach who set up the training plans. Maybe he hasn't progressed from there to investigate other types of training (Jeff Galloway, Run Less Run Faster, etc.)

    My bet is he is in mid 30's/ early 40's and hasn't had a significant injury yet. Does he cross train? Does he use gu or tailwind? What size/type of shoe does he wear? Does he buy special insoles? Who knows? Who cares? Does it matter? No.

    If he feels he needs more days than 3x a week for a half, okay, that's fine. For him. I think it is a confidence thing. He may change his mind later as he ages or gets injured or maybe never.

    But if he really feels that everyone should run 4 or more times a week in order to do a half (or even a full), well… he's very mistaken.

    Meanwhile, you keep doing you -- inspiring and encouraging so many of us with your awesome self!

    Chris

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment! The group where he posted his comments wasn't the appropriate place to share those thoughts. He posted them in response to a poll. Yes, he's entitled to his opinion. Aren't we all?

      If you knew me personally, you'd laugh at me but understand why his comments bothered me. I tend to take things personally, even though I know it's not about me. I"m working through this whole aging runner thing and am feeling a bit sensitive.

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    2. You're right... I don't know you other than on line, but honestly, I think you are doing great! You are one of the ones I look to for my inspiration.

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    3. I sure appreciate that!!! <3

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  28. I hope to encourage people to run any distance at any pace...whatever works for them. I also compete with only myself.
    Don't let anyone get in your head. As runners we all struggle from time to time, hang i there, stay positive and it will pass. Last year at this time I was considering quiting halfs and this year I am training for a marathon.

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    1. I need to get to a point where I feel good about my running again! I know it ebbs and flows. Funny how things will get under my skin when I'm feeling bad!

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  29. That's tough... he is coming from such a different mentality as a runner, and likely had very little grasp on how those words would feel to the group. There are so many ways to train! I am in the camp that agrees with you- for many of us, especially women, there is much less risk for injury but minimizing the running and getting in a variety of cross training can still get you fit and ready for a half!

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    1. He's a coach and so I do hope that he keeps a more open mind when he develops training plans for his runners. Not all of us are high mileage or daily runners.

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  30. It's funny how even when we know better a comment from a stranger can really hurt. You have a lot of comments here so I'll make mine short. I have found over my life that people who are truly experts and truly elite are amazingly supportive and encouraging of beginners and really anybody who is attempting their skill or their sport. Those who are "pretending" to be experts can be very elitist and should almost always be ignored. Of course, the other thing I've learned with experience is that there isn't one correct way to train for an event of any length and anytime somebody starts to say things like "oh well you HAVE TO do this." Well... I've learned to ignore that too because answering back with a smart aleck "oh, really...do I?" tends to be unpopular. :-)

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    1. I'm always amazed at people who say what's on their mind and try to push their opinions on other people. We all need to understand where people are coming from in their lives. I know I needed to let this roll off my back, but it hit me wrong. Clearly, it struck a nerve with a lot of us judging by all the views and comments I've received on this post. Back to the bubble!

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  31. Oh gosh that comment is so silly and narrow minded. I had my second best half marathon time this year and I ran 3 days a week max. It works better on my body and I'm happy with that! Keep doing you & what works for you!

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    1. That's the plan! I'm glad you had success with your training too!

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  32. What a post! I just started The Gaborone Runner Facebook Page. I took so long to do it because I was (am) terrified of losing my safe space. I am terrified of the negativity, "Who does she think she is?" "She finishes at the back of the pack and has the audacity to call herself the Gaborone Runner" But I love blogging and linking-up as there is always so much positivity. I know by having a FB page I have exposed myself more and those comments will come but when they do I will remember this post and your words. I am a runner and I ran a Half training 3 days a week. So there! Shathiso at www.thegaboronerunner.com

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    1. I'm excited to follow on your page! My online name is Wendy Joyce, to protect my anonymity from patients who try to find me. I have only rarely received anything negative on my page. I've had my page for about 5 years and it's been a really positive experience. I hope you find to be the same.

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  33. Ugh, this sounds like such a strange comment! There are whole books out there about training for halfs on three running days per week. And everyone has different goals. If someone has an ambitious time goal, maybe it makes sense to have more running days, but that's up to that individual and their body. But some people run races for fun. And plenty of people decide they want to stick to running 10ks or 5ks or not do races at all. There is no wrong way to be a runner (except to be an elitist jerk!) and I like our supportive little bubble :)

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    1. You hit the nail on the head. There is no wrong way to be a runner. Glad we're in this together!

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  34. Love this! I don't know why so many people feel the need to be so negative these days! You are an amazing to a lot of people, myself included. Keep doing YOU and what is right for you!!!!

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    1. Thank you! Can't we all just raise each other up?

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  35. I saw that comment and I was glad that that you, and others called him on it. I too was taken aback by his comment. Personally I think your body needs recovery! Even thought sometimes I'd love to have more time to train, in reality, I'm a mom, have a full time job and other interest, it's just not possible. I've managed to train for a half marathon and a triathlon on 3 times a week!

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    1. I think there's a lot of ways to train for a long distance race and for most of us mere mortals, 90 miles per week, heck 50 miles per week is not realistic. We need to accept our limitations and work within them to do the best that we can!

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  36. Ugh, for some reason I no longer get your posts emailed and I'm just seeing this now.

    This is so well written and amazingly resonant. While I love the running community overall, there are some assholes. Why do so many people think it's their way or the highway when we're all individuals w/ individual skillsets? I trained for the half on three days and it was perfect. I'm never going to win age group, but I finish smiling. I'm not sure I'd finish if I tried to train on 4.

    Did you read this book by any chance? Months later it's still bothering me http://travellingcari.com/2018/02/11/getting-real-about-running-and-workouts-week-of-2-5/ Why do we need to have speed/pace/training volume police?

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    1. I just saw your comment and I'm at work and can't access that post. But I will when I get home! Why can't we all just accept that some of can't or don't want to kill ourselves training for a race?

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  37. Oh this post has made me tear up and I'm FURIOUS that someone like that jerk can make such an amazing and empowering and supportive and inspirational runner as you feel bad. GRRRR. Also GRRR all the people who don't smile and wave. I hate that, too. I have to tell myself they're having such a bad run they've gone all inside themselves.

    I got livid to the point of tears when I saw on a parkrun discussion group I'm in a guy celebrating a new 5k pb of 45 minutes and another guy saying that's not running that's walking. EFF OFF. I didn't post because it gets into a slow runners / fast runners spiral that gets tired very quickly. But URGH again.

    I have you to thank for daring to blog about my own running life as a (far more) sedate lady runner (than you). And I have had nothing but supportive comments from the weekly wrap-up crew. Oh, and I never run more than 3 times a week, unless like last week I've done a tiny test run, and my longest marathon training weeks have been 38 ish miles. I've never hit the wall or injured myself training or racing except with genuine accidents. So Yah Boo Sucks to the haters.

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    1. You know we'd be BFFs in real life, right? I love your attitude. And I'm sorry but how mean is that comment about the 5k? RUDE.

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