I’ve learned a lot over my years of running and I still have a long way to go. But one of my biggest lessons so far has been that we really are all individuals. And as such, we have to train in a way that works for us, not for someone else.
For example–I know a guy who on paper should be a walking injury. He goes from one marathon to ultra to Ironman to the next, all while never tapering, never recovering, and not really taking easy days. And he’s in his 40s. On paper, this guy should be perpetually injured. But, his body holds up.
Then there are folks who train conservatively, cross-train, strength train, do all the right things, and yet end up injured. Doesn’t seem fair, does it?
I’ll admit, it gets to me sometimes when people train foolishly and get away with it–I’m jealous. I would love to have a body that doesn’t break down. But clearly mine does, and when it does, it takes eons to heal.
But here’s the thing–we all have a certain gene pool to deal with and we need to lean to work within those limitations. That’s not to say that you can’t get far through dedicated, smart training. I’m not challenging that notion. But I am saying that we need to pay attention to what our bodies can and can’t handle and not try to train like someone else.
So if your buddy can run an ultra one day and a 1/2 marathon the next, great. Don’t assume you can get away with it, though. Learn when to say when and where to draw the line. Yes, some trial and error is in order to learn this, but by paying attention over the span of a few years, you’ll catch on to what does and doesn’t work for you. From there it’s all up to you to keep it in check.
Trust me, it’s a lesson worth learning.