Day 18 – What I talk about when I talk about running

Published January 18, 2011 by fitflo

Todays Stats

Distance: 5m 46

Time: 63:03

When I told my friend I was doing Janathon, she bought a me book by Haruki Murakami called ‘What I talk about when I talk about running’. He’s a Japanese author (Norwegian Wood is my favourite) and also a runner. The book is sort of a memoir and training log rolled into one and he has many great things to say – it’s almost like reading an extended Janathon blog. I’ve read it once and am reading it again a bit slower to take more if it in, and I came across a passage yesterday that I think really sums up where I, and probably a few other Janathoners are right now.

The most important task…is to let the body know in no uncertain terms that running this hard is just par for the course. When I say letting it know in no uncertain terms I’m speaking figuratively, of course. No matter how much you might command your body to perform, don’t count on it to immediately obey. The body is an extremely practical system. You have to let it experience intermittent pain over time, and then the body will get the point. As a result it will willingly accept (or maybe not) the increased amount of exercise it’s made to do. After this you very gradually increase the upper limit of the amount of exercise you do. Doing it gradually is important so you don’t burn out.

And so it is, that on Day 18 I ran my furthest distance, at my fastest pace and got my fastest 5k. OK, so it was all on a treadmill, but I’m still letting my body know who’s boss!


20 comments on “Day 18 – What I talk about when I talk about running

  • That’s the way. Let it know who’s wearing the trousers in this relationship… oh hold on, no that doesn’t work. Your body is clearly wearing the trousers. Let me try again…

    Show it who has the upper hand… no. That’s no good either. Your body has both hands so no matter where they are placed it has the upper one. Hmmm…

    Ahhh… got it.

    Make it clear that you are the brains of this organisation. Or, more specifically, this organism. That’s it.

    Great quote and great run. Well done,


  • Woohoo that’s the way! Don’t take any crap from that body. This is kind of like my mindset actually – I never let myself admit that a run is hard because once you do that it might as well be over. Par for the course is all I’m ever doing, until the end when I get to look back and praise or criticise.

    • I think this quote combined with audiofuel to keep me on pace was what got me to that distance today – when my legs started aching I just thought no – I need to push through, and actually from 6k onwards they felt great! I think I would have gone for longer if the treadmill didn’t have an auto time off at an hour!

  • Good work Flo! I’ve had a bit of a dip in nspiration, trying to think up routes to run (I hate gyms and treadmills, so most of my running’s been out and off-road) and books have been a great help. They might induce you to craziness, but look up ‘Feet in the Clouds’ and ‘Ultramarathon Man’ – both worth a read for inspiration.

    And aside from that, keep it going. You’re doing a cracking job!

    (Oh, and PS: Gary V – ‘LocalAdventures’ – isn’t intimidatingly hardcore at all, he’s a very sound and likeable chap. )

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