Mindfulness: My Training Principles

Last night, feeling particularly inspired after a yoga class, nourishing dinner and catch-up with a friend, I found myself with some time to properly reflect on some principles I want to train by in the next few months. With quite a busy schedule of races and training ahead, I want to be careful to avoid burnout. During my training for Manchester Marathon at the start of the year, I was doing way too much, prioritizing all the wrong things, and it ended up costing me dearly both in terms of injury and professional accomplishment.

 

 

So without further ado, here we go:

Run Less, with More Focus

Whilst I haven’t read the book in its entirety (yet), I want to focus on the approach set out by Run Less, Run Faster for the next few months. As much as I love love love to run junk miles, and regularly run 4 or 5 times a week when not training for a specific goal; my body can only take 3 structured (i.e. intense) training sessions a week. I’ll be keeping it simple, and supplementing the following with cross-training:

  1. Long run
  2. Tempo run
  3. Intervals

Focus on Balance

In my brand new Believe, Achieve Training Journal, there’s a section on balance, and it talks about your “training wheel” being made up of the following spokes:

  • Physical training
  • Mental training
  • Nutrition
  • Recovery
  • Life Balance
  • Competition
  • Community

“Put too much emphasis on one spoke or ignore another, and your wheel becomes weak and collapses beneath you.” Wise words to live by.

Focus on Rest and Recovery

I am absolutely terrible at allowing my body to recover, and last training season I was burning the candle at both ends, which led to burnout, both physical, and more importantly, mental. I was really unable to focus on my work, and it wasn’t a good time at all.

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Focus on not getting fired

Okay, a slight exaggeration. But I want to focus on being able to deliver 110% in my current role, and take on more responsibility whenever possible. I cannot slump in my chair and let the brain fog take over.

Plenty of Race Prep ahead of the big event

The big event being, of course, the marathon. I want to get as much experience racing as I can, without overly interfering with my long runs. I currently have a good few in the diary, and seeing that I love racing so much, it’s hardly a sacrifice to add a few more when they come up (and believe me, they always come up)! Specifically I want to use 10k races as tempo runs, and do some half marathons as a way of getting over this weird mental block I have about 13.1.

 

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Good Food

This is entirely obvious, but something I really skimped on at the start of the year. I have a troubled history with food and dieting, and so it’s always a focus of mine to get better. My motto: Eat More Bananas- which is basically a shorthand way of saying “eat more real foods”. I also want to focus on eating fewer nothing foods- things like popcorn and rice cakes, which essentially keep you full but don’t really provide you with anything nutritionally. I’m certainly not swearing them off or restricting, but trying not to reach for a bag of popcorn whenever I get hungry.

 

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And yes, that includes treat food!

 

Have Clear Red Alerts

These are my signs that I absolutely have to cut back on training. I know people say listen to your body, but when you have a slightly obsessive personality like I do, it’s hard to do this without having an objective list of things.

  • Brain Fog
  • Any Work Fuckups or Close Calls
  • Monumental Life Fuckups
  • Heightened Emotions
  • Sickness or injury

 

These principles will hopefully stand me in good stead for lovely, successful and not too stressful training in the months to come.

 

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If you had to set a training principle for the next week, what would it be?

 

Lots of love,

 

Pippa

 

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14 thoughts on “Mindfulness: My Training Principles

  1. I think this looks great. I’ve started and stopped a blog post about taking on too much. I think it’s something a lot of runners do at times. It becomes I’ll run this many times a week, and cross train this many, and strength train this many, and foam roll and stretch and be social and nail my 40hpw+ job” and then very quickly that begins to fall apart. Keeping focused on what matters is what’s important!

    I’m running 6x a week for training, but none of miles are junk miles. They all serve a purpose in my training and I think that’s really important. Hiking up mileage just to hike it up definitely doesn’t help anyone!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I know what you mean! You think you can handle it all for like a week or two and then the cracks start to show- next thing you know you’re crying in the loos at work…just me?!

      Glad to hear you’re making the most of your training sessions 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not in huge detail, but I did cover it a bit on my “Currently” post in June. I’ll probably write about my training a bit more later in the year when I’ve been able to evaluate its effectiveness a bit more.

        Like

  2. That all sounds good, but I’m especially drawn to the idea of the red alerts. I think that’s something I need to employ in my own life. It’s too easy to ignore things and press on, when they’re signs that you need to pull back.

    My principle for the next week, something I’ve been thinking about this weekend, is to focus on the basics. My health has taken a dive, so I need to go back and build a strong foundation. Slowly!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a really good one to have- especially written down, for some reason. If I make an mistakes because I’m tired, or I feel injured or sick, I now feel obliged to take some time off, which is obviously beneficial. But sometimes it’s hard to see that when you’re in the midst of training!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Mine would be stick to your workouts. I plan a great week of workouts with cross training and the proper amount of training for my current goal then i let myself get derailed and it all goes to hell. This week i will stick to my workout schedule!

    Liked by 1 person

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