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When Training Doesn’t Go as Planned – 2016 Spring Race Training

Spring Race Training – Week Four

So, yeah my spring race training isn’t going so well. I’ve registered for two half marathons this spring and  I’m four weeks into my training but it hasn’t been going well.

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  1. Injury – After incorporating body weight exercises (yoga and pilates) into my training plan and trying a new brand of running shoes, a nagging pain in the ball of my foot and arch has develop. I’ve been having trouble running. and even walking without pain. It feels like my foot is splitting in two. These nagging, soft tissue injuries can be difficult because it’s not always easy to know what caused it, what the exact issue is, or how to treat it. But I’m sticking to the normal routine of icing, massaging, taping, and repeating it daily. But ultimately my mileage has suffered from not being able to run as many miles as I normally would due to pain and just trying to rest and heal my foot.
  2. Poor nutrition – I’ve allowed myself to get off track with my nutrition. I began to slip off the wagon back around the holidays, and New Years. I would indulge and tell myself that once the New Year started I would cut out the junk food I’d been eating. But then it was my anniversary and we had to celebrate with an indulgent dinner and dessert. Then it was a long run and I deserved a big breakfast, then it became a convenient option to just grab a quick bite for dinner. Because I’ve been eating a lot of junk food lately, I’ve noticed a lack of energy during my runs. I feel sluggish and my joints feel stiff and swollen.
  3. Schedule – I’m not sure if it’s the cross training that I’ve chosen for this round of training, if it’s the cold weather, or that my running routes are routine and boring but I haven’t been able to stick to my training plan very well. Probably another part of the issue is that there has been a major change to my work schedule and I’m just trying to find the rhythm of my new routine and just haven’t gotten there yet.

Things aren’t really working out the way I had planned. But that doesn’t mean my spring race season is going to be a wash. I’m really not yet ready to give up on the pace goals I have for the spring. So instead of giving up I’m going to give a plan/schedule mix up a try.  My goals are important to me and I’ve come a long way over the past two years. The song on repeat in my head is Otis Redding’s “Dreams to Remember”.  I know it’s about something completely different than achieving running goals but I love Otis Redding and that line “I’ve got dreams, dreams to remember” is the one that helps me block out all the static and refocus on the goals I’ve set for myself and how important they are to me.

Even though I do have these dreams and goals for my running, I often have to remind myself of the fact that I run for FUN. I don’t get paid to do this. It’s not my full time job. I do it because I love it. Yes, I have goals to that will take a lot of hard work to accomplish but none of them mean a damn if I’m miserable the whole time.

  1. Have Fun – Keeping true to the fact that I run for fun, for fitness, and for a stress reliever. It does more harm than good to be hard on myself after I flop a workout, miss a workout, or don’t hit my mileage goal for the week. I’m doing the best I can and so I need to just have fun with it. Running in different locations to get some different scenery and mixing up my workouts a bit more will help with this.
  2. Sub 2:00 Half Marathon – I have 12 minutes to shave off of my total time but I’ll keep chipping away at it with each race I run.
  3. Strength Train – Based on the past four weeks I have found myself really missing weight training. So I”m going to incorporate that back into my training schedule. Plus, strength training can help me get faster and build other muscle groups so to prevent future injuries.
  4. Improve Nutrition – Meal planning and prep starts back up again this weekend. I may post more about my food here on the blog to help keep me accountable.
  5. Run more with others – I think participating more in group runs will really help me a lot with many of my goals. It will definitely be more fun, it will help me with my speed to run with faster runners and keep me motivated during the winter months that I’m training for the spring half marathons. So it’s basically just an all-around good decision.

In another four weeks I hope to have much better news to report on my training after making these changes.

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