As I started my run today I have to admit that not wearing a watch or HR monitor and running on an unfamiliar route had my mind reeling. How was I supposed to quantify what I had done? How would I tell all of you lurking blogophiles how far I ran and how fast I am.. my ego was in a tizzy! What is there to prove that I actually did run? I have nothing but .062% more capillaries and .01% less fat to show for it!
Made me think a little more about not thinking so much about the things that muddle the truth. Miles of course make champions. My leg muscle fibers didn't respond to XX number of miles though.. they respond to stress and stress is not measurable with a tape measure or a GPS. Chuck is maybe saying that we should simply stress our bodies and let it tell us when we are done. If you think about it- it is kind of silly to say that next Wednesday I am going to run 13 miles and that will be the perfect number of miles to stimulate my fitness. That's naive. For me to run 100 miles is to run an arbitrary number of yards simply because the number looks good on paper. 99 miles is only 2 digits, while 100 is 3 digits.. and my i-pod's volume goes to 11. I think if one is to choose a nice round number to run it should be 200 kilometers. 125 miles has more anecdotal foundation for creating elite runners than a measly 100... but I digress. To walk out the door and run until your legs and bones and lungs tell you that you are done is the correct way to do it. Run until you're tired. Then the next day run until you're tired again.
The "caveman" metaphor is great, but only if you avoid trying to over think it. Which is the point to begin with! When I started my run this morning my mind was reeling and I was trying hard to THINK about what I was going to do, how I was going to do it.. but the point of the exercise is to stop thinking and just run.
At a certain point though- it does become imperative to start thinking about the structure and the intensity of training. What Chuck is saying is not an all encompassing blanket statement for all periods of training and all athletes. It's an exercise in exercising the muscle that matters the most- the one between our ears. So, I ran today... and then I'm going to do it again tomorrow and some day I'm going to be as good as I want to be because of that.