Day #11: “Turn-doping”

It’s not what you think. Or maybe it is. Turn-doping is a term I came up with on a run with a good friend of mine who just happens to be an IronMan Triathlete. Yeah – all 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles on the bike wrapped up nicely with a strong marathon run. That’s my friend Shawn.

We were in the middle of a 10k training run in vineyard country north of San Francisco, our first together since 2 years before in Germany when both of our families were stationed over there with the US Air Force. Shawn nodded to the right, to a large hill/small mountain which rose off above us, and he gave that “You up for it?” type of a look. Though I was hurting — more from the hard pavement than anything as I have recently been married to the off-road paths and trails which run throughout our Central Coast hub… Despite my discomfort I, of course, nodded: “You bet!” And so off and up we rolled getting more and more piqued as the steepness increased. Minutes before, we had been reminiscing about the various training mantras I had instilled into Shawn from the years before: run down the uphills, run through the finish, run the hard parts easy and the easy parts hard…. when I found myself immersed in another teachable moment. Instead of coursing the tangents of the turns, running straight lines from outside corner through an inside edge and back neatly to the outside corner of the next bend, I was consciously running the longest way around every turn. And the hill persisted.

“Turn-doping!” I hollered to Shawn, smiling. He looked over shaking his head at my nuttiness, but still not totally getting it. “Remember how I have always said to run long around the corners in training – maximizing the distance run and the effort of the training run in order to maximize speed and endurance on race-day… Well, I am doing the same thing now – just on one nasty hill. And all the while I am banking endurance. I am not blood-doping – banking O2 for raceday – I’m banking honest endurance. I am turn-doping!”

On your next run, run long around the turns. Push yourself to go farther and to go the more difficult route. Come race-day, you’ll be smiling.

Keep running!

~Coach Reed