No more marathons

Here is today’s IDEAfit photo a day image to go with the caption ‘style’:

Castelli Flamma jersey
Castelli Flamma jersey from Stuart

I thought this blog post from Girls Gone Sporty on ‘Reasons not to sign up for the next race’ was particularly apt for how I’m feeling now: http://www.girlsgonesporty.com/articles/fitness/reasons-not-to-sign-up-for-the-next-race/ 

Essentially, the arguments against signing up for a that are listed are:

  • Don’t run if your performance is suffering
  • Don’t run if you’re not feeling motivated
  • Avoid overtraining
  • Decide whether the race fits into your overall training strategy
  • Don’t run if you’re injured.

Right now, my performance are suffering, which is never motivational and I’m also running races that I don’t feel excited about entering – I’m doing them because I feel I have to. I don’t think I’m overtraining, but I have to remember that I’m a triathlete now and not just a runner, so I never have as much time as I used… and I’m working longer hours than I’m used to. I’m not injured, but I am still not feeling 100% after my illness, so racing probably isn’t helping me. As soon as Brighton Marathon is over with, I’ll be taking a break with plenty of sleep and some healthy food thrown in!

Today’s email from Brighton Marathon has told me that one of my idols, Paula Radcliffe, will be at the Expo… but on Saturday. I’d love to meet her, but I’ve planned to go to the Expo on Friday, so that I can rest on Saturday.

Anyway, I’ve managed to get some training in today. I cycled to and from work (as usual), and also made it to LRR training, although as I was coaching, I didn’t do an awful lot of running myself. That was just as well as I felt entirely exhausted. Then it was on to The Quays for my Tri Club swimming session.

I was nervous about swimming as I’ve had a lot of bad swims, but tonight was a good night. There were only three of us in the lane and the drills seemed to play to my strengths. We had a new warm up (200m front crawl, followed by 100m kicking) and then moved onto the main set. We had to swim 50m breathing every 3 strokes, followed by 50m breathing every 5 strokes. One of my lane mates commented on how difficult he found breathing every 5 strokes, so I commented that that’s how I usually breathe… unfortunately, that meant that Coach Peter made me breathe every 7 strokes. I was hyperventilating on every three strokes and then found I could do 25m of every 7, but then couldn’t quite get past 20m on the way back! This was followed by 25m kicking on our fronts, 25m kicking on our backs, 25m on our fronts and 25m on our backs. I’m not sure why, but I seem to find those drills relatively easy in relation to my lane mates, so I was able to have a nice breather at the end of each of them. After doing that a few times, we finished off our session with 400m front crawl, followed by 150m breast stroke, which is also a stroke that I enjoy. After not wanting to go out and train, it actually turned out to be a session that I loved (and was able to complete!)

10 Replies to “No more marathons”

    • There’s got to be some benefit to having chunky thighs! 😉 I think the trouble is that I only seem to be able to focus on arms or legs and not both. If I have to worry about breathing, then I tend to neglect my legs, which is probably why I’m not as fast as the others in my lane when we’re using all of our limbs!

  • The longer you go without breathing, the more oxygen efficient you body will become even for running. I love those oxygen debt sets even when I’m dizzy for the rest of the day.

  • Nothing wrong with taking a step back an rethinking your goals/plans. I did these last few weeks, and afte forcing myself into a 5k and a sprint tri yesterday, in over the inter blues and ready to race! Maybe try a fun run with no pressure. Something to get you excited about training again. Interesting about your swim workout. I need to get on those. I normally just hit the pool and swim all out for 45-60 min and call it good.

    • Thanks, Chris. I think that if I give myself a bit of time off running then I’ll have more time to focus on cycling, swimming and yoga. I’m really motivated by having small, achievable goals. At the moment, there are no PBs that are within reach, whereas I’m constantly making small improvements with my cycling and swimming… my [not so] secret mini goal each week is to swim another stroke further without breathing… at the moment, I’m up to 14 and am hoping that I’ll soon be able to make a full length.

      With regards to swimming workouts, it’s worth sorting out something specific to do, including some stroke drills. My first swimming teacher pointed out to me that just ploughing up and down for an hour or 32 lengths or whatever target I had set for myself wouldn’t help me if I were just compounding errors of technique. I now try to have a specific aim for each workout that I do on my own, even if it’s just to practice 5 tumble turns or to do four lengths of arm drills, followed by lengths of crawl.

  • I agree that pushing too hard is going to do a lot more harm than good.
    We know ourselves best and know when pushing is a good thing, and when we are overdoing it.
    I almost signed up for a 5K this week even though I have a 10K next weekend, and realized it was just too much. It was tempting to sign up but just not a good move, so I backed out.

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

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