Longer Than You Want
Over the past year, I’ve done a lot of hill repeats up Stratham Hill. I run up, walk up, hike up, crawl up, chase Clem up it, slide down in when its ice covered and stomp through puddles when it’s wet. Last summer, 7 or 8 repeats was the sweet spot for me. That was the right dosage that I was tired enough but still able to drive home. After a while, I started running faster up the hill. Resting less coming down the hill and so on.
All while this progress was happening, I was missing the picture. I was upset that I couldn’t get myself to do more. Come late summer, I was able to get 10 repeats, but mostly hiking up and a brisk jog down. Still frustrated. I would internally yell, I should be able to do more!
Fast forward to the other day, I casually did 11 repeats on an afternoon I would typically expect to get 7. It wasn’t super taxing, my times were solid and I was able to drive home. This was a slap in the face, I needed more time. I wanted to do more volume, but just wasn’t quite ready. Before I added more reps, I needed to get better/faster at doing fewer first.
This is a mistake we make when learning new things or taking on a new challenge. We want more, more, more without adapting first. I already caught myself thinking, well why can’t I go up and down 20 times? We’ll get there, it’s just going to take longer than we want it to.