Maintaining not training

Training (ˈtreɪnɪŋ/) is defined as

the action of undertaking a course of exercise and diet in preparation for a sporting event

and I have recently realised that I am not training. Not that I don’t have a sporting event lined up – I do – but I am not really training for it. Certainly not in my head.

Running… but not with any purpose

At the risk of becoming rather maudlin and reminiscing about the good old days, I think that quite a lot has changed for me since the London in 2013. The business I co-own with my wife has developed and expanded. We have launched a magazine, which has also developed and expanded. These things are taking up a lot of time and energy in my life and I love them, so I have no problem with that. But I also know that I am just ticking over when it comes to my running and my fitness.

I realise that my ‘ticking over’ is not all that bad – 30th place and an hour faster than last year in an increasingly competitive 60km mountain race a couple of weeks ago is OK. I know that I could knock out a 3 hour marathon without too much trouble. My default steady runs are always the same pace, around 7 min/mile which feels really comfortable. But age and a love of food and beer is against me and maintenance is becoming ever more of a task. In fact I know I have plateaued in the last year or so and that I need to do more different stuff if I want to avoid slowly slipping.

So what I think I need is a target. What I used to think is that I needed a target that is a race. But even with a 105km mountain race in 6 weeks, a 24 hour relay race next weekend, a whole load of other races between now and the end of the year AND having made a decision that I am going to have a crack at the London again in April ’15, I am still not motivated enough. I think that I need something even more immediate – a target for today, tomorrow and next week. So that is what I am working on. Something that I can get my teeth into NOW. That might be a challenge to do some exercise every day.

And I’m open to suggestions. So what do you think? What would you set me as a challenge that is going to get me going – give me a reason to forego sleep and put myself on the line. Something more motivating than fighting advancing years and too much good food…

2 thoughts on “Maintaining not training

  1. Your post has both inspired me and elicited a suggestion for you. I too have dialed back my training, due in part to some long overdue and much needed “downtime” from running 5 marathons in the last 2 years, but also due to a lack of a clear training objective (aka a reason to be disappointed if a run has to be skipped). While I’m still running between 45-50 mpw, there are a lot different kinds of running I’m not doing (e.g. hills, track sessions, long runs with speed, running with a group, racing of any kind). I think what I or both of us need, is to look at this list and try to cross off one or more items a week.

    I’m going to start by trying to get myself to a track session tomorrow night. We’ll see about the rest.

  2. What about mixing it up completely for a while – you could spend a few weeks doing speed work; short and sharp. Maybe use a flat out mile time as a short term goal? It might get a bit of running mojo back!

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