DATHAN RITZENHEIN’S SHORT 8-WEEK PREP PLAN WILL BE PUT TO THE TEST THIS MONDAY. If you have been disappointed in efforts to reach one or more important goals, Ritzenhein is one elite runner you may wish to watch at the Boston Marathon.
An article by Jonathan Gault for Letsrun.com indicates that the 36-year-old hasn’t finished a marathon in 4 years. The runner’s problem, as described in the piece, seemed related to an unrestrained approach to training that ultimately led to dream-killing health issues or injuries.
In mid-2017, Gault says Ritzenhein took a new approach to training after a plantar fascia tear prevented his finishing the NYC marathon in late 2016. He joined the Brooks-Hanson team to prepare for Boston 2018. Again, he likely pushed too aggressively and was forced to withdraw before the event due to injury.
Thus, the theme of Dathan’s come-back story in 2019, according to Gault’s piece, has been restraint. His coach’s strategy has been to have him stick with a plan that includes adequate recovery days, with scheduling of a race with a rest period before (rather than in the middle of) his build-up to Boston. And the build-up period has been shortened to 8 weeks!
The details of the Hanson’s coaching strategy as told by Gault might be of specific help to runners who also have difficulty controlling enthusiasm and pushing too hard in training. Their problem is working too hard rather than not enough.
However, beyond these details there is a message to many others. That repeated disappointment may be a common experience of elite as well as everyday athletes. That the stinging embarrassment and profound discouragement that comes with not finishing or withdrawing from a goal competition should not force an end to hope or effort.
We can pause to recover, re-examine, and then revamp plans to move forward over time. Possibly we’ll need to repeat this process more than once. Perhaps we will need to change events, or the sport in which we compete! The path to realizing a dream might not only be difficult, it might not yet be visible. The inspiration message I take from Gault’s piece about Dathan Ritzenhein is that an athlete will persevere. To be an athlete, I must strive to persevere.
If watching the Marathon is on your schedule, consider tuning in early at the beginning of each division’s event. For this elite runner and everyone else at the start lines, just being there will be a Boston victory.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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