Sunday, February 28, 2010

How to deal with run training stress: Don't quit.

Well, it seems that my training and racing has gotten started off to the same lack luster results as last year. I've been thinking of excuses and wondering what is going on. The only thing I can think of is that it has been cold as hell and I don't want to go outside in this hellish weather. However, when I see a 60 year old man running in shorts with gardening gloves on at 6am, I feel more and more like someone who isn't running for reasons other than it being cold.

I'm signed up for a couple of races in the coming months which means I need to start streamlining my training so I don't end up skipping the race entirely. I love training, I love racing, and I love everything leading up to the finish line and I can't help but think there is still something more than the cold keeping me from enjoying what I love.

So, as today is the last day of February, I'm going to make an effort to focus on my training to try and make something positive happen even if the weather is in the 20's and I can't seem to find warm weather to run in besides the indoor gym. It makes it even more depressing to wait 20 minutes for a treadmill only to be able to use it for 20 minutes because LA Fitness is crowded and there is a line behind each treadmill.

I'm ready for the "New Years Resolution" boomers to start to lose heart. Not because I don't want them training and staying healthy, but because I want my gym back! These are tough times and the mental aspect of training in the cold is almost too much to take!

Monday is a new day and training will likely bring me out of this funk. So, the moral of the story is, when you feel depressed because you haven't been training and racing as hard as you should be, the only thing that will snap you out of that depression is to get back out there and swim, bike, and/or run. It's just that easy.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Skipping a workout is not THAT bad, right?

Today I was scheduled to run 6 miles with a few efforts of speed work tucked into the warm up and cool down. I worked 12 hours, seated at my desk, and my hamstrings were getting a little tight so I decided that taking a day off wouldn't be the end of my training.

Even though I've been training for years, I still feel strange about skipping workouts. For the longest time I really didn't know how to recalibrate my training to accommodate for the missed workouts.

Some coaches said don't let it change your training plan, just keep going on to the next workout. I guess that would work if you only missed an easy workout. However, skipping specific training runs like tempo, speed, etc. can impact the periodized training plan, especially if you skip a couple of workouts in one week, or the whole week all together!

Things like doubling up your next workout with extra distance or speed are good ways to get injured. The fact that you're competitive, in shape, and could hammer a good workout, doesn't mean you should.

These days, I just take my skipped workouts "in stride" and finish out the week with whatever is left over. If I am training for a specific race, I'll just adjust my training with a couple of tweaks that will get me back on track the following week. Because periodized training is so important you don't want to completely de-rail your plan. Knowing that missing a series of workouts could set you back a week or more is a good motivator to stick to the plan.

So, I skipped yesterday and I'm thinking I'll put in a couple of miles tomorrow and a few more on Saturday and then get back on track starting Monday. No stress. No worries. No need to freak out. Just run and get over it.

  Sunday run in the rain.