One thing that is important to remember as an athlete is that preparation is key. As in most things in life if you don’t prepare, you prepare to fail.
Sounds simple doesn’t it!? What that doesn’t tell you is that you should always have a plan B! The simple fact is that even the most perfect plans can hit “bumps” and you need to be able to be flexible and plan around any issues that may crop up. This can happen regardless of how much you have planned.
I write this slightly reflective blog entry because the start of 2015 has not gone to plan. At all!
The tail end of 2014 saw me struggle with a number of these “bumps” which began with struggling to recover from a cold type thing which I managed to pick up on holiday in early November. Following a course of anti-biotics I was soon under the surgeon’s knife to have two wisdom teeth removed, which of course meant further enforced rest and yet another dose of anti-biotics.
Next up I made a classic school boy error. Aware of how much training and fitness I had lost I rushed back into training and overtrained in order to try and claw back some time. The result, a ruptured hamstring! This meant I was unable to compete in any of the remaining cross country fixtures and had to step back from any speed work and delay my marathon training.
So, in fairness. I am writing this blog feeling slightly sorry for myself. I have managed to resume training but it has been far from what I had planned for. I have also managed to get myself round a couple of races, although needless to say I have not been happy with my performance and times. However, I need to ensure that I continue to build fitness and not rush it! See, I’m always learning!
So the first race I decided to do was again done as a “long run”. I took up a place in the “Fred Hughes 10” which is a notoriously tough 10 miler based out of St. Albans. As promised, it was tough but I set off at a decent pace and attacked the hilly course, this lasted until about 7.5 miles and the wheels started to come off ever so slightly, the pace dropped as I completed the course in a time of 1:08 which is a long way off my 10 mile PB. However, this is not a course to attempt a PB!
Next up was another toughy! As the men’s captain at Stopsley striders I wanted to represent my team at the Southern Cross country championships. Remember that I had done only 1 cross country race out of 6 so to take on the Brighton 9 mile course was a big ask. That said, I did it. I got round and managed to be the final scorer for the team, although again I was less than impressed with my performance on the day. It was a great event though and even better, I was able to finally contribute to the team.
So in summary, January has been pretty rough. Focussed around the start of Marathon training with swimming and cycling making up the time between. Hopefully the coming month will see consistent pain free runs and some serious mileage being racked up. I also hope to increase the swimming as the days finally start to get lighter.