I have come to the decision that I (and many others) are trapped in a cycle of training that goes on and on forever.
Not that I dislike training. Often it is preferable to racing. But I just can't see it ever ending unless forced by injury. I did once try training less - much less in fact. During most of 2008 I only trained about once per midweek and then ran a long way every Saturday or Sunday. This was OK up to April when I still ran a decent time in London but by the Autumn my (lack of) miles caught up with me when I had a shocker in NYC Marathon. I realised then that I didn't want to be that slow and buckled down again the next winter to regain my place in the sub 3hour marathon group.
I got to thinking about this following a comment last night from someone who was training with Border Harriers group. Seeing that I had completed several efforts prior to joining them for their 2400metres, as I began another effort they said 'you must have too much energy'. Because I was running away from them quite fast, I didn't respond vocally, but what I thought was something along the lines of....
well no, I don't have too much energy, but as I ran very easy yesterday and will be merely jogging tomorrow, and with no upcoming race to taper for, I want to train to the best of my ability today. Four and a half miles is not a ridiculous distance to run hard so why not?
I think that I get more or less as much out of myself as is physically possible. If I didn't go to work I could run more often and might improve some more but not a great deal. I am well aware that my commitment to training puts me among a tiny minority of the UK population. I am also aware that some (sedentary) people I know think I am obsessed- but come on, 6 runs averaging about 45miles per week and topping out at 65 miles twice per year is far from obsessive. Getting routinely hammered every weekend and losing a day of your life getting over being hammered is surely a much less desirable way to live your life? Yet this seems to be regarded as the norm in society today?!?!?! Each to his own though - it takes all kinds.
Good times indeed