Sunday, 7 June 2015

Summer Plans

Up here in Canada we tend to have some pretty wonky weather. In the winter it is freezing cold and we are regularly pelted with ice and snow. And then in the summer the climate does a complete 180 and it is hot and humid. Which means around here there are only two seasons that are appropriate for racing - Spring and Fall.

My Spring season ended up being a busy one. I ran a disasterous trail race, two half marathons (Mississauga and Bluenose), and I also cheered my face off while running 17km as a pacer at the Toronto Women's Half. It was an action packed 5 weeks.

The Summer months are a busy time for me work-wise. It also tends to be fairly hectic life wise - weddings, BBQs, family time, cottage weekends, etc. So while normally I would be squeezing in a race every available weekend, I have decided to do things a little differently this year.

Racing has always helped ramp up my motivation. But too much racing changes the way I train. I am tapering. I am recovering. And then before you know it is time to race again. So this year I am leaving my Summer Race schedule open-ended. If there are races that work well with my schedule I will sign-up. But my goal for the summer is focus on Strong Consistent Training.

I noticed 2 things during my Spring Race Season,
           1. My endurance is not where I want it to be post-op.
           2. The last few years have done a number on my over-all strength, especially my upper-body
So these are the things I really want to target over the coming months all while striving to stay present.

1. Cycle Regularly
I was riding my bike 2x a week this winter with my Triathlon Group and it was making a big difference to my overall endurance. It was also strengthening my core and my upper-body. In other words - it does all the things I am trying to achieve.

But I have had a mental block about cycling outdoors. I had a couple of scary moments/close calls on the bike while clipped in last year. And ever since, I have been too nervous to ride.

Much to my serious Tri-Friends' chagrin I have replaced my clips for flats. I need to get my confidence back on the bike, and that is not going to happen unless I actually start riding. So I need to remove the piece of the puzzle that is tripping me up. My goal is start 3-4x days a week with a morning ride over the next few months and really embrace all of the benefits cycling has to offer.

2. Strength Train
I feel like I write about a desire to start strength training 3 times every year. But I never do it. I always start doing some form of strength training, but then racing and running take over, and I am too tired to fit in any kind of proper strength routine.

This summer it will be different. My goal is incorporate strength training 3x/week. My many trips to the OR have caused a weak upper body and my glutes/quads could also use some work. So I want to alternate targeting these key areas.

I recently discovered the Kettlebells at Goodlife and have been working on an upper body routine. And I am using Tamara Grand's Ultimate Booty Workout to target my lower body.

3. Yoga Once a Week
Yoga has always helped calm my mind, balance my body, and ground my training. But it is an area that I often skip when race season hits. So this summer I want to make it a priority. 

One of the Goodlife locations in my area offers regular Hot Yoga classes. So my goal is attend 1 class/week to help me rest, reset, and improve my flexibility.

4. 60 Day Meditation Challenge
In the interest of prioritizing being present and more relaxed I am challenging myself to a 60 Day Meditation Challenge.

I got a Muse Headband a couple of months ago. And I got myself into a really good rhythm of mediating each night for 10 minutes before bed. It was helping me sleep better. I was more relaxed. And then when my travel schedule for work ramped up, I got out of my routine.

So I have recommitted as of last Thursday (June 4th). And my goal is to meditate for 12 minutes daily until August 3rd.

I will still be running regularly as well, but I am taking my speed/hill training out of the equation. The goal is to continue to get mileage in my legs, but to run comfortably and allow myself the chance to put extra energy into some of these other areas.

Do you ever take a season off? 
Do you find racing motivates your training or distracts you from it?

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,