Last summer, I focused almost entirely on distance without much regard for speed or effort. I figured that hey, if I’m getting the miles in, who really cares how slow they are?
The results weren’t great. I had some very ugly races, especially in cases where I found myself moving faster than I had trained myself for. I blew up more times than I can count.
Over the winter, I’ve focused more on so-called quality miles, making sure that I’m really pushing things when I’m out there. I’m no longer avoiding tougher training routes and I’m pushing the pace instead of getting lazy.
There’s just no substitute for good, honest, hard work. Unsurprisingly, the results have shown themselves in early-season races already and many of the problems I’ve experienced in the past have gone away. (Things like a weak stomach, for instance.)
Speed-work, hill-work, whatever it is — just so long as it’s *work*, the results will come.