Monday, 26 May 2014

Giving Up the Gimmicks

If you have been following along this year, than it should come as no surprise that I have been struggling with the whole training-confidence thing. I have been trying a million and one different things and floundering a bit.

I started running and training at a very complicated time in my life. In fact I ran my first half marathon the day before my double mastectomy. And as you know the past 2 years since then have not exactly been peaches and cream, so I have just trying to keep my head above water. Any training, any race result - was great, because I managed to make it out there at all. But this year, this year I have expectations. There is no cardiac surgery, no battle with BRCA1, no life altering loss - which to me means no excuses. Just showing up isn't good enough. This year I am expecting big things. This year I want to see what I am made of. This year it is all supposed to come together.

As you can see the pressure is on (or at least in my head it is). And as a result I have been trying everything under the sun to give me an edge. I went vegan. I started fixating on the scale and the whole "weight-to-power" ratio thing.  I tried fasted-cardio. I asked my coach to ramp my mileage. And give me more speed work. And give me more workouts on the bike. And I need to weight train. And I need more yoga. And... I think you can see things were getting out of hand over here.

So Wednesday night I had a long Heart-to-Heart with Coach Michelle. She informed me that there is no way I train the way I am asking to train. It is way too many hours, way too much intensity, and way too much mileage. I will get injured or burn out. So I need to relax, give up the gimmicks, pick ONE training strategy, concentrate on that, and trust the process.

So that is what I am going to do (Scout Honor!) from here on out!
  • I have chosen to focus on Quality Mileage, as opposed to Quantity. 
  • I am going to spend more time on the Bike, as I think this is the area that I am weakest
  • And I am going to focus on eating healthy, whole, unprocessed food, without stressing out too much about calories or anything else.
I have been making progress this year. Last Tuesday speed session proved how far I have come. I ran my intervals at a 4:30km/pace (7:15mile/pace), which is huge considering I was struggling to maintain a 6:00km/pace (9:39mile/pace) this time last year. So it clear despite my stress that progress is being made. And that these improvements are NOT from any of my short term gimmicks. It is progress I have made by listening to my body, eating well (most of the time), and training consistently. There are no gimmicks or shortcuts involved. You simply need to take care of your body and do the work.

Deep down I know this, which is why I am giving up the gimmicks.

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,