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A Mile Is Your Yardstick

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For many years, the late Noel Carroll, Olympian, Coach and Running Guru, contributed regular Training Tips to Irish Runner Magazine, writes Frank Greally. Many of those Training Tips are still timely and worth sharing.

A Mile Is Your Yardstick

By Noel Carroll

IT IS EASY to run when you feel like it. The good runners will always run even when they don’t feel like it.

More often than not there is a lingering weariness in the runner’s body crying out for consideration. The body is forever telling the mind that it needs more rest or a longer recovery from past exertions. Now and again this may well be the case but usually the tiredness is all in the mind.

My own rule of training is, no matter how absolutely bunched I am I don’t decide how hard to push until I run a mile. More often than not, when I have run a mile the aches and pains subside and the body starts motoring with ease and efficiency.

On rare occasions, however, the body simply cannot go more than a mile. If I feel unwell or desperately tired, or if it’s a real injury niggle that’s bothering me, the mile run tells me all I want to know. On such occasions I simply pack it in. I may be foolish but flogging a dead horse is not the kind of madness I can manage.

Some runners may feel they need a few miles to loosen out and this may be so.  However, you can usually tell after a mile if that feeling of deep exhaustion is for real. 

If it is, there is no merit at all in driving the body further. So don’t mind the imagined tiredness but do take care to heed the real tiredness. 

And remember it does take running a mile or so to tell the difference.

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