I mentioned last time that my run felt great and had a “flowing” type feeling to it. I found a quote about this concept of flow on another running website:
Flow is a concept popularized by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. For those that are new to the concept, it’s basically a scientific breakdown of what athletes refer to as The Zone. It’s a brief and fleeting period of euphoria where your skill levels are matched exactly to your task’s level of difficulty. If you’re bored, your skill exceeds the challenge. If you’re anxious (struggling), the challenge exceeds your skill level.
I try to keep my running in this zone where my skill matches my level of difficulty. Though I often push myself to try to improve in training, most of my training runs are in a fairly comfortable range. Similarly, I try to run all of my races feeling comfortable, with just enough effort to stay at a good pace for that distance, but without feeling like I’m dying. I figure that if I keep approaching my runs and races like this, I can’t help but get faster, and my results have confirmed this. Of course, I haven’t made much progress this winter, but that’s because these past few months have really been an “off” period because of the bad weather and the resulting fewer miles run.
I’m going to keep approaching running like this. I will be running more miles now that the weather seems to be improving. I want those miles to continue to be fun and injury-free, so that means I will not generally stress myself by exceeding my skill level too much. I want to maintain that flowing feeling. I expect to keep improving too.