It’s been 169 days since I last raced. That’s 5 months 16 days or 24 weeks and 1 day or 4056 hours. It’s been a long time but I needed the break after non stop racing since January 2013. By September last year as I previously wrote I had fallen out of love with running and got to the point I no longer enjoyed racing. I made a promise to my family and myself not to race again in 2018 and that developed into not racing again until I felt I was ready mentally.
I’ve spent that time rebuilding the basics. I found my passion again and I would say 75% of what I’ve done these past 5 and half months have been enjoyable, nothing is ever 100% perfect and I’ve found there’s no point in blowing smoke up your own arse like a lot of people do when sharing their exploits on social media. I’ve had runs that have felt hard from start to finish. Over cooked it on others and at the other end of the spectrum I’ve put in some really good runs and other runs where I’ve hit the runners high.
I did a month of no speed work in October, then spent the rest of 2018 building a good base with re-discovering the benefits of the long run. I’ve found that I can comfortably run for 2 hours and after that it’s the hurt zone. For now it’s not an area I will work on, until the time comes to do another marathon. That will only happen when I know mentally I’m not going to fall apart at around 18 miles like I’ve done previously. Continuing my journey from last September after finishing with 3 x 5 week blocks of training and building from 13 to 18 miles in my long runs. I closed out 2018 optimistic for this year.
However January and February have been a little dis-jointed for a few reasons. Firstly I had a few races planned to kick off the new year but mentally I wasn’t ready so my training kinda went out of sync. On top of that I’ve been looking at where I want to take my working career. This led me in February to not only apply to join the Royal Navy Reserves which should I get past the recruitment stage will mean that so many weekends will be taken up training, likewise with Thursday’s nights. Also the opportunity then presented itself to train to become a personal trainer and after getting funding I’m now doing my level 2 and level 3 back to back. I’m also looking at doing my level 2 and 3 UKA endurance coaching, plus strength and conditioning course and finally a nutritionist course. So I can then offer potential clients the full package. This has meant my running has taken a back seat since mid-Feb as I’ve been focused on doing my workbooks and past two weekends has been spent on a practical course, ahead of my first assessment next month. This has been so much fun, I’ve learnt loads and because I have such an interest in the subject I’ve found a passion for it I didn’t know I had.
What this means long term is I aim to be a running coach/personal trainer along side being in the RNR and leaving my current career that while been amazing has run it’s course. So getting back to running I feel mentally that if I don’t race soon I might never race and have picked two races that I’ve either done in the past or know the course. The trick is I’m going into these races with a clean slate. I’m closing the chapter on my previous times and performances and the first race I do at any distance will be the benchmark in which to go forward.
Training wise, the break from running has allowed me to really experiment with my training. Finding what works for me and what has not. I’ve learnt to listen to my body more. Now I have a better understanding of my college work for the next few months, it has allowed me to plan a few races but it does mean a few changes to training going forward. I still want to hit 50 miles per week but dropping double days is something I think is needed as my time is limited now in an evening so instead of running my second run too hard I will just cover same mileage in one run at an easier pace.
With this being race week, it’s a perfect change for a cut back and an excellent starting point for my spring training. This week will look a little like this:
- Mon – 6 miles am / 4 miles pm
- Tue – Speed Session
- Wed – 8 miles
- Thu – Speed Session
- Fri – 4 miles am / 5 miles pm
- Sat – Rest
- Sun – Race
Then from next week the weeks will follow the following plan:
- Mon – 6 miles
- Tue – Interval Speed Session
- Wed – 8 miles
- Thu – Tempo/Progression Speed Session
- Fri – 6 miles
- Sat – Rest
- Sun – 13 miles plus (each week further then the last)
I have penciled in speed work on a Tuesday and Thursday. These will vary depending on what I’ve done the previous day and should needs be I will drop speed and will just have an extra easy day. I’ve kept to 6 days and kept to not running doing anything on a Saturday. From April I will work to the 3 weeks of training and on the 4th week have a race. I have roughly planned my stuff till end of May with my target spring A race. I’m looking forward to making my comeback later this week.