Lately my posts have been about this training funk I seem to be in, mentally. Today I realized what might be causing it. When I first started running and then training for races I made my training runs a priority over everything else in my life. In other words, I got really selfish and my life revolved around my running plan. I never really questioned it, if the plan said I was supposed to run 4x week for X number of miles on certain days, I made sure I was able to do it-period. That also meant scheduling and planning my meals and other activities around my running schedule, including my strength and conditioning sessions. During those first couple of years I managed to run dozens of races, including 7 half marathons, and became a faster, more efficient runner. I was driven to train by setting goals for myself. Being selfish helped me accomplish my goals.
This time around I am finding it increasingly more difficult to prioritize my running and stick to my plan. My work schedule and responsibilities combined with family obligations and a mother’s guilt in recent weeks have been a huge distraction to my training. I find myself trying to cram in running sessions before, after and between strength training sessions; when I am tired and my body is stressed, and consequently the “training” that is supposed to be taking place cannot happen.
A training effect happens when your body is subjected to consistent stress and then is able to adapt to those conditions to be able to handle more. I am trying to run faster and increase my mileage in an effort to reach a 10K goal, but my training has not been consistent enough to allow for that adaptation to happen.
I am about to get selfish. I have 5 weeks until my goal race. Last summer I gave it my best effort and was extremely dedicated to my training plan but fell shy of my goal on race day due to poor planning the morning of the race. I need to commit to my running training and make it the number one priority for the next 5 weeks-that means planning my runs at an optimal time of day, properly fueled and hydrated, along with a recovery day between hard runs. Right now I am not training smart which means I am wasting precious energy running fast without adequate recovery. Running fast for the sake of speedwork is not smart. For the next 5 weeks I need to work on pacing and turnover-or cadence. For the next 5 weeks I need to plan my life around my runs.
I need to get selfish.