Your Training Sucks - Do You Race Anyway?
Have you ever had this happen?
I was training well and everything was on point to run a new summer 100, and a great Superior 100 in September.
Then I agreed to help with a special project at my day job. It was the logical person to do it and I figured it would only take a couple of weeks.
Instead, it took four grueling weeks, a couple of which were 70 hour work weeks, most of it without a day off, and loads of mental focus.
I ran a few miles here and there but nothing remotely close to my usual. I couldn’t fit in strength training and stretching, so they fell by the wayside.
When it was over, I was burned out, short a bunch of miles, back to square one on strength training, and several long runs behind. Plus, I was four weeks away from walking into an important 100-mile race less prepared than eve
If you’ve been here, you probably worried, “how do I belong at the starting line?”
You might have thought about staying home while everyone else ran what was supposed to be your big race.
That line of thinking doesn’t feel great and doesn’t help you make good decisions, so the first thing to do is to put the situation in a better, more accurate perspective.
Why you belong, is that you just like everyone else at that starting line, has a life that doesn’t always make it easy to race at your peak.
Losing jobs, getting new ones, marriages, divorces, deaths, moving houses/cities/states, and work projects...
No one's life goes on hold when training for an ultra. Not even an elite athlete's.
We're all doing the best we can with what we have at that moment.
Once you get that, you’re ready to move into a better headspace by doing what you haven’t been doing - looking for the advantages in the situation.
Ask yourself my favorite counter-intuitive question I use with clients…“How is this perfect for me?”
In my case,
It made me extra patient with myself about getting over the mental/emotional burnout for Superior.
The missed miles could be a break for my body to heal anything it needed to.
I made it a priority to pack quality and miles in those last four weeks where I might have been careless with otherwise.
Best of all - it woke me up and made me want it more.
You, like me in this case, probably have more going for you than you realize. If you have trouble coming up with answers, get a friend or a coach like me - I have a new Race Rescue package for this - to help you see what you’re not seeing.
To be clear - I won’t ever suggest you blow off training until the last minute. Rule #1 is “respect the distance.”
But if you have a decent base when life intervenes, don’t assume all is lost. In fact, you might as well go in the opposite direction and see how you can turn it to your advantage.
If you still have a shot, why not take it? Maybe you have what it takes after all. There’s only one way to find out.
If you pass on your chance and decide to stay home, you'll never know what you could have done.
If you take the chance and give it your best, you’ll never have to wonder what you could have done and you’re one step ahead for your next race.