This week it has all felt a bit like hard work. I’ve felt lethargic, often grumpy (sorry kids) and stressed. I’ve done two quick running sessions which went badly – not just slower than I would have expected, but my running form was all over the place. Embarrassing really.

We’re still in lockdown (10 weeks and counting) so that’s clearly not helped. It’s been a bit of a mentally taxing week at work so that’s not helped either. And on top of the I put pressure on myself to focus on a challenging training plan. I suspect some of this is around over-training too. I finally paid for a premium Strava subscription this week and as a result I got to see this chart of relative effort:

Now I don’t always train with a HR monitor so the week-by-week comparison won’t be wholly accurate, but I have clearly upped my game recently and my body is telling me to slow down.

It has reminded me that you can’t blindly follow a plan, you’ve got to be prepared to stop and change the plan if it’s not working. The problem with following a generic training plan is that you don’t rest when your body tells you to. You rest when someone else tells you to. That can’t be right.

The only sessions I’ve enjoyed this week have been two morning bike rides. I absolutely loved them. Nothing special about them really – just two 30km rides on flat roads, both in overcast conditions. But I loved the freedom. The lack of pressure to perform. They gave me headspace.

So I’m ditching my 6-week 5k plan. My new plan is to just do sessions that make me happy. That means enjoying some runs and rides where I’m not pushing myself all of the time. Going out for slightly longer sessions to help build my endurance base up, and sticking with my recent cadence sessions as I feel I’m making progress on that.

It means not being stuck in my gym doing strength sessions when I’m stuck indoors working from home 5 days a week. Sure I may tack a few pull-ups, planks etc on to the end of an outdoor session, but they’re not the priority right now.

There’s no point in training if it doesn’t make you happy.

End of message.