Friday, November 18, 2011

Adjusting Expectations, Avoiding Burnout

I'm less than 24 hours away from another 5k race. Is it bad that I keep forgetting about it?

Usually the week of a race, it's nearly all I can think about. I plan my strategy, eat more carbs and taper training as needed. This week I've hardly thought about the race, have been chowing down on red velvet cake balls and did two speed workouts. These aren't things you should do if you're chasing a top three age group finish or even just a new PR.

The last 5k race I did was in September and I ran 22:53. I'm not sure I can beat that time tomorrow morning. I'm in better shape than I was in September and I know physically I can do it. But mentally, I'm struggling a bit.

After boot camp class last night, I chatted with my friend Sara about how it's been a bit difficult to get back into training after the Haunted Hustle Half Marathon. I thought I gave myself enough of a break , but in hindsight, I probably needed an extra week off before starting another training cycle.

New expectations
I have no intentions to stop training at this point but I am going to readjust my expectations for the next few weeks. Running 35-40 mile weeks would be great, but if I end up only doing 25-30 mile weeks through the holidays, that will be okay. I'll still keep up with my boot camp classes and strength training and maybe add in some cross training, probably on the bike. By scaling back a bit now, I hope to avoid burnout and start the New Year excited to up my training again.

As for tomorrow's race? For a change, I'm not going to over think things. Instead, I'll focus on each mile I'm in when I get there.

And if that fails, I'll just think about eating pancakes after the race :)

Do you ever have trouble staying motivated? If so, how did you get back into training?

- ST

1 comment:

  1. You have to give yourself a break sometimes!!! As a triathlete, I am currently in the off season. Since I'm a fatty, I'm okay with having put 5 lbs on since Ironman (putting on a couple of pounds helps with recovery :) I don't know what I would do if I only ran. I like being involved in triathlons; I never get bored! Since I am in the off season and doing the winter running series, indoor marathon and then an early season marathon, I am currently on a run focus plan, 3-4 days a week of strength training, and then swimming and biking when I feel like it (and its all pretty easy aerobic stuff). I am also allowing myself to be a slacker right now :) I am listening to my body and doing what I feel up to on a day to day basis. Serious training will start in Jan, so I need to mentally and physically give myself some leeway. To stay motivated, I plan my racing season in advance, sign up for races and set goals. I also have a variety of training partners to train with...misery loves company (especially in the winter!)