Wednesday, 8 April 2009

He Who Runs In Circles Never Gets Far

I've now just about managed to calm down from my temper tantrum during training tonight after yet another day of running slower, feeling rubbish and generally running like a misshapen, lumbering lump. I think I'm beginning to make progress from the denial stage on to the angry stage with a bit of a toe in the bargaining stage waters. I'm now looking ahead to my training plan for the coming months (it's rather embarrassing to admit this but have planned much of my training and racing up until the end of the year) and wondering if I should just scrap it and rethink my whole approach. I had four to five months of steady improvement at the back end of 2008 and then entered into this weird twilight zone in February where my training is having a freakishly inverted effect on my fitness. All the signs appear to be that I'm suffering from this 'over training' thing which I keep reading about in running books and have to admit there are some startling similarities. I keep thinking it's a phase that will pass but I'm probably kidding myself a bit. My hunger to race has lost it's edge and I've lost that kamikaze mindset that comes with attacking efforts on the hills and track. So, have sort of decided (whilst writing this) to give myself a deadline. I'm gonna monitor my resting HR each morning for the next two weeks and compare this to how my training feels. If I don't see any return to my former zip and racing zeal then I'm gonna have a break. For at least 2 weeks. Yikes. Sounds scary written down. Anyway, that's the plan. So there. It's written down now so no turning back.

Ran just over 8 tonight at aerobic HR zone 3 on a nice undulating and slightly windy course. Averaged 7.19 for the whole run which was a tad slow, mainly as a result of the need to ease down massively on any incline as my heart rate soared. This is a sure sign of my rubbishness as I'm normally strong on hills. God, sorry this sounds so pathetic; it's now getting hard not to let this frustration get the better of me. Why wont my body do what I want!? I've fed it enough this week (including another bowl of pop corn and several toffees during this blog sitting). I'll cheer up soon. I promise.


kate said...

i think it's hard when you've seen a lot of improvement in your abilities and then all of a sudden you hit a plateau and nothing seems to work. that seems to be when the 'over training' hits. you're doing the right thing by listening to your body.

Markh said...

Hang in there Sarah.
I don't think it's possible to run at your peak all the year round.
You've made massive improvements and there's probably more to come.

Sometimes we need to take a step back in order to move forwards.
Having run for 11 years I've been through what you're currently going through before and it goes in cycles.

I'm the same as any other runner and want to be at my peak all the time but have come to realise I'm not a machine.
Plus , I'm 47 and it's not getting any easier !!

Julbags said...

I'm going through the same thing at the minute, improved lots in the last couple of months through consistent training (though nothing to your awesome speed) and now bang! Shattered, demotivated, grumpy, rubbish sleep and finding it all difficult. Resting is the correct but hardest thing to do.

I've only had two runs this week, 3 miles each and very easy and I'll have another 3 miler tonight. I'm seeing an improvement in mood already and energy, I've been singing and doo-be-dooing to myself all day at work, not done that for a few weeks. I've decided to keep the intensity low for the next week or two more.

Antony Bradford said...

At least you are recognising that you are 'over training' and the need to cut back and rest.

I agree with all the comments. I also find it hard to ease back or rest, especially when you fear that other rival runners might be out there training when your not. What's worse is you know most of the best runners are regularly doing 80 plus mileage weeks with seemingly no problems. You sometimes have to ignore all this, and the 'devil inside' telling you to get out and run hard - much easier said than done.

All the best for a swift recovery.

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