I found out this week that my target race, the Dragon 100, has been postponed. It has catalysed a whole series of emotions over the last few days.
My initial reaction was huge disappointment and frustration that I would have to keep up this charade, I mean “training”, for another 10 weeks. I mean, I’m looking forward to dropping my distance and not forcing myself to log miles just because I feel I ought to.
However, I’ve mellowed out a bit now. I realise that the extra time will allow me to continue to build strength and endurance in preparation for the event. So far the longest run I’ve logged is 46km which is somewhat short of the 160km I am up against. I can now look to schedule a 50-miler in the coming weeks to give myself more of a challenge, test out my fuelling strategy and kit, and still recover in time to resume normal training.
It means I can also take the weekend of my 40th birthday “off” in April without feeling guilty. I mean, clearly I’ll still train (I’m not mad!) but I’ll take things a little easier and enjoy an extra drink.
It still poses a slight challenge, though, namely how to keep motivation going for another 3(ish) months when it’s already waning. In my post last year I reflected on handling the urge to quit. Sadly I didn’t really give myself any solutions for this scenario as that was more about handling the here and now of a race and not a protracted 3 month wait for a race.
I think the answer lies somewhere in a combination of these factors:
- Cross-training – maintaining my strength work and perhaps even increasing, and varying, the load here to keep it interesting. I’m tempted to rejoin Freeletics while they have a 50% offer on. It’s an excellent app for callisthenics.
- Cross-training – getting out on my bike again to do some long (early morning) weekend rides. This will continue to build my aerobic fitness without the same strain on my legs, but is also something I really enjoy so will give my mind a boost too.
- Being sociable – thankfully we are nearing the easing of COVID-19 restrictions in the UK which means the ability to train in bigger groups.
- Nutrition – making sure I am eating enough of the right food to prepare for, endure and recover from my training, while not over-analysing what I’m actually eating. I’m roughly in the right place.