I Should Have Raced More
Why not having a plan in place left me needing a break
4.5 months of training. 0 races. It’s my own fault, really.
I have no excuses, just the reality of being a coach and having a coaching business. I ran between 4-6 days every week - my weekly mileage is never high, even when I’m thoughtfully training. And the months got away way from me. But my biggest downfall is not having put a race on my calendar. I planned the long runs, I did the workouts, but I didn’t find a race to run. I should have and now it’s too late.
During the last few weeks of my team’s season, I started feeling run down, lethargic and lacking the motivation to run in the morning. As soon as that happened, I knew that I’d need a break from running. For me, that’s my tell-tale sign that I need time off. This feeling started right around May 1st and here I am, 5 days into my break. I guess I know myself better than I give myself credit for.
Coaching is very rewarding, and I wouldn’t change that part of my life for the world, but it’s also very stressful and extremely time-consuming. There are days when I get home from school after 7 pm. It doesn’t leave much time for recovering or doing anything other than getting ready for the next school day.
I forgot to remind myself that during spring track (and Healthy Kids), I need to go into maintenance mode and just get by. Instead, I was trying to do more and that’s what left me feeling hollow and unmotivated.
The long story short is this: I need to have races on my calendar to clearly state the beginning and end of a training cycle and keep them within 12-15 week cycles so I don’t get bored or stale.
If you’re able to run year-round and never take a break and it works, great, you’re the lucky one. For me, I was in a state of constantly go-go-going and never adequately planned for when I’d rest. Decently big mistake, however, the consequences are minor. This last week of spring track is now my rest week and I’ll get back to business on Monday or Tuesday with a racing calendar in mind.
Friday’s Action Plan:
Training for training’s sake is okay, but seek a goal that is attainable, yet challenging to set your direction.
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Marc is a middle school teacher and coach but also works with distance runners online. I help distance runners around the globe by providing support, writing customized training plans, and designing workouts to help them reach their racing goals. I write for my blog every Wednesday morning and newsletter every Friday morning.