This is Part 4 of “How/Why I’m attempting to run faster by 1% each year over the next 10 years” series. You can read the full series here.
The year isn’t even halfway done and I’ve completed my annual half marathon. The point of this isn’t to just tell you about how I completed a half marathon and did it 1.3% faster than last year. My goal is to “show my work” and explain my process in real time.
It’s really easy to see the the end of someone’s fitness and health journey and go “Oh, that was easy for them because [insert whatever excuse works]” But when I break it down, year over year and show my process, pains, and gains, I do hope to empower you to try this in your fitness, health, or life.
What was Done Differently this Year?
On May 19th, 2019 in Sydney Australia I completed my 3rd consecutive half marathon. I did it in a time of 1:24:01 which is 1min 16 seconds faster than last year. That’s a whopping 1.5% better. I’m cool with that.
What’s a bit more interesting and “special” about this one is that I did it;
- On an extremely hilly and tough course
- Coming off a nagging mild injury
- With very little half marathon specific training
- Utilizing weight/resistance training
- Training with vo2 Max specific intervals
- With Intermittent and training fasted states
- Training low-medium carb most days and spiking up the simple carb intake 3 days before
The 1% Consistent Habits are the Key
“You must train consistently for two straight years — no unscheduled interruptions due to injury or illness — to even begin to see how good you can be.” — James McMillan
This 1% shit every year thing works. It’s fun to have a stretched out approach to goal setting/chasing and keeps me motivated to keep with my systems, habits, and routines.
Moving forward I’m actually going to change up my training mentality and focus a bit. Rather than the “get faster every few months by doing v02 max workouts” and teetering on the line of overtraining, overreaching, and burnout (which I almost suffered a bit of earlier this year), I’m going to try to feather the gas at about 75–80% of what I normally do for one year straight.
That means no big race training blocks for a year (I’ll dabble in the odd 5k race here and there to keep it fresh). Just good old fashioned consistency. I actually want to feel good most days/weeks/months. After a workout, I never want to feel even remotely close to “smashed”. I think that mentality and way of training are played the f*ck out and has crazy consequences. The long risk (injury/illness) isn’t worth the short term reward (going 1 min faster in a local-yocal 5k fun run).
I really hope my journey proves to be an example for you to help you with whatever fitness and health goals you want to accomplish.
In the words of the genius habits expert James Clear;
“It is so easy to dismiss the value of making slightly better decisions on a daily basis. Sticking with the fundamentals is not impressive. Falling in love with boredom is not sexy. Getting one per cent better isn’t going to make headlines – There is one thing about it though: it works.”