Instead of a fine return to form, last week turned into another lay off from running. The Marathon Mountain was too big for me. What am I going to do about it? How will I get back into it? Let’s review.
Stopping the bad stretch from stopping you
Last week, I had planned for 5 runs – three during the week, and two on the weekend. The running plan is for 1 x 5km tempo run, 1 x 8km moderate, 1 x 5km easy, 1 x 5km fartlek and – most important – a 30km long run. Total target mileage of 53km. In the end, I only managed 9.5km – a short run on Saturday and 7k on Sunday.
The last week was an exceptionally busy one at work: long days followed by various evening functions. I’m still not much of a morning runner and tend to do most of it in the evenings. Which I haven’t had time for this week past. And, once I missed a couple of sessions, it got easier and easier not to do the next one. It’s happened before and, as that post discusses, it’s best to find a way through it.
In other words, to keep on going. That’s a thing easy said, hard done.
Marathon’s and mountains
I’ve been running marathons for two years now. I’ve pretty much plateaued at the 5:15 to 5:45 hr mark. Sometimes, it feels like I’m stuck on path up a mountain; a path where I only seem to be half-way up. I’ve done a lot of hard work to get here but, when I look up ahead to the peaks, all I can see is more hard work. And that’s dispiriting.
Part of the problem is trying to follow a training plan that’s going to help me up the mountain, to help me get into the condition to run a marathon and to run it fast. My last six marathons, I only ever did enough to get around. Not enough to run the entire course: only enough to make the distance. And that really, really annoys me.
I spend so much time worrying about the distant peak, I forget to take the next step up the little hummock, past the little rock and across the small stream. I focus too much on ALL of the steps yet to be taken, I talk myself out of taking ANY steps. I procrastinate and procrastinate and before I know it, I’ve not done any training and the marathon is upon me.
No wonder I never keep to the plan and don’t bank enough mileage for the nessecary conditioning.
Perfect training doesn’t exist
As I’ve discussed before, life gets in the way of your plans and it’s important not to get discouraged when you don’t live up to your own high expectations. Although I would have preferred to find the resource to keep running last week, I’ll not beat myself up over it. Life isn’t perfect; stuff happens and this means sticking to the training plan becomes secondary to other stuff.
It’s a big shift from where I was: accepting I’ll not train perfectly. That’s OK because, coming from such a low base of fitness, I know I’ve got a long road to go. Therefore, progress isn’t going to be a linear progression. It’ll be in fits and starts. The last two weeks was one of the many hiccups on the way to my goal.
Plan for this week
Keep it simple this week: aim for a 30k long run this weekend and three 5 to 10k runs during the week. The key one is getting the long, slow run – a bedrock run for any marathoner. Keep on going gang, Kogsy