Remember last post, when I had a bit of a meltdown?! Yeah, sorry about that. But in all seriousness, thank you to everyone who took the time to leave me a comment and their advice, I really did appreciate it. In all truth, it was a case of overtraining. And the worst thing is that I knew it! If I look back through my training journal, the past two weeks have been dotted with the following:
- Mental struggle
So yeah, it’s hardly a surprise. But I came back today with adjusted expectations and a new plan for the long run. Today I set out early for 13-15 miles at 10 minute mile pace. Even though I know long runs should be slower than your goal pace, it’s really hard to get this into my head. (I mean, why not just run at goal marathon pace?! SUCH GOOD TRAINING). So a huge shoutout to Andy, aka Coach Andy, a fellow City Runner, who took an objective look at my mileage, paces and elevation gains, and gave me a strict talking to and a new plan for the weekend.
I wish I could say it was one of those runs where it all came together. Where I remembered why I ran, where my soul flew free… but it was just average. Parts of it were dull, parts of it were painful and parts of it were just a bit annoying. But I got it done. And I did make one massive improvement- not stopping, and really getting into that mental headspace of just keeping on moving even when I was bored, tired, thirsty, achey etc etc. I made two tactical hydration stops at mile 6 and mile 10, but these weren’t the standard can we just not do this anymore stops.
So there’s that at least!
I’m not saying I’m 100% over it, but I definitely feel like I’ve got my mojo back. So here are my top five tips, from someone who’s fresh out of the slump:
- REST. Seriously, do it. Your fitness is not going to disappear because you missed a single training session.
- Get an objective view. Your comments, plus a chat with Coach Andy, definitely set my head straight. With the latter, it was just nice having someone tell me objectively what to do.
- Have a drink. It was my work summer party, and whilst I didn’t go crazy, I had a few drinks and loosened up a bit. Normally, I would have been plotting my early exit for a gym session, but I figured I needed some soul food in the form of relaxation with my colleagues.
- Readjust your expectations. For me, this was accepting that this week was a cutback week, getting over my two missed speedwork sessions, and reevaluating my long run pace.
- Start afresh. I deliberately started a 12-week training plan with a few week’s wiggle room, so I’m looking at today as a fresh start after a cutback week. I’ve got renewed commitment to my strength and conditioning exercises, and I’ve accepted mentally that the next few weeks are going to be when a lot of the hardest work happens.
So the point of this post was 1. to express my gratitude for all your lovely comments and pieces of advice, and 2. to celebrate being (provisionally) back in the game!
As always, share any tips below!
Lots of love,