How to stay sane when you stop regular training (and the Amazing Grass giveaway winner!)
This weekend, I am doing the Waterloo Classic 5 KM.
I really had dug my heels in for this one because I hadn’t planned for it and running too often with too much intensity is a perfect formula for injury. I kept putting off registration until after the 30-hour adventure race this fall because I assumed I would be completely done with any form of racing. Also, the idea of prepping for an anaerobic event in such a short time span after an endurance event is madness.
But I ran out of excuses.
I am healthy. I had a few weeks to sharpen. It’s a net downhill course so I can fake it if I need to. And something about this fall air is making me want to run.
So I signed up and did a few weeks with 2 sessions of speed work and slowly things started coming together for me. I went from feeling like I was running underwater to feeling confident that I could nail the paces I was hoping to hit. I am going into this race with minimal expectations but feeling really proud and happy of the training I was able to scrounge together.
This has me thinking about what I am loving about the break I have taken from focused training. After the Ironman, I went from 20 hours of structured training plans to a few patchy races on the schedule, more couch time and no one telling me what to do. Now that I am 2 months in, I wanted to share some of the biggest things I have learned from this.
Take your time
When I first stopped with my formal training, I was pretty mentally fried. I didn’t feel that fight and although I enjoyed training, I needed it to be social and fun. So that leads me to…
Train with other people
So many of my training sessions have been solo this year out of necessity. It is pretty hard to find a large pool of people who are training for an Ironman and I wanted to make sure I executed on exactly what was on my program. Type A? Yes. Could I have adjusted and trained with others? Yes. But I needed to feel like I did everything I could when I hit the start line this July. I had the confidence I needed and I don’t regret it. But now that I am taking a break from my programmed coaching, I think I have done one workout alone in 2 months. Having people to chat with is just more fun.
If you don’t want to do it, don’t
This is technically my off-season. That doesn’t mean I am lying around but it does mean that I am totally ok with missing workouts, not fixating on paces and yes, totally ok with losing a little bit of fitness. That is what a break is for! I am loving my training and having so much fun with what I am doing right now.
Focus on your weaknesses
It is a really great time for me to increase my strength, work on my form in the pool and increase my speed on the run and the bike. I have been doing strength workouts 3-5 x a week and focusing on single leg work, explosive movements and lifting heavy stuff. In the pool, I am worrying less about speed and more about body positioning and drills. Biking has been cross or mountain biking and I have been focusing on technique. I will work on increasing my FTP this winter. And running? It’s my first love so I am doing lots of it and loving it.
Ok. Now to announce the winner of my Amazing Grass contest. Thank you to everyone who entered.
Congrats Jenny. Send me an email and I will connect you with your prize!
Happy weekend, friends!