Finding the time and motivation to train

TO reach your running potential you have to train hard, keep motivated and prioritise running. Unfortunately since returning from honeymoon in July I’ve struggled to find the time or motivation necessary to do well. I’ve really not been bothered.

You could say I’ve been coasting, happy to run when I feel like it, happy to have days off. It’s been a choice I’ve made because other things in my life have taken priority including starting a new job, launching a creative writing group, and doing a master’s degree in writing. As well as this I commute for at least ten hours a week (AT LEAST!), have three horses, two dogs and a rabbit to look after, not forgetting the husband, who I’d love to spend more time with if only there were more hours in the day.

Running has plummeted to the bottom of my list of priorities. I’ve still trained, but not in the consistent or hard way that’s necessary to make progress. I knew I’d lost fitness, so I decided to do a few parkruns and a 10k race to assess the damage. I completed a hilly parkrun in 21.44 minutes and a flat 10k in 42.16, both are a long way from my best but I was pleased with them.

That said, I know I can do better. I know that with dedicated and hard training I can get fitter, but do I want to? That’s the question I’ve been asking myself. Can I actually be bothered? Should I prioritise my writing and spend as much time as possible completing my book, so that I have a chance of getting it published?

If I focused on just one thing, instead of trying to do several hundred things, then maybe I could excel. Instead I bumble along, doing too much and beating myself up when I don’t see results. My university tutor tells me I need to prioritise. I forget his exact words, but something like, ‘You still have a chance with your writing, but let’s face it, you’re never going to win any Olympic medals any time soon.’

Writing will always be more important to me than running because that’s been my dream since forever. But I love running too, and I’m amazed at how much I’ve achieved, especially as I was a fat child who was utterly useless at sport.

I’ve been thinking about my tutor’s comments, and wondered if I should just run for fitness and focus on writing. It’s a very tough decision to make. I know I should focus on writing more, but to stop training and racing, knowing that I haven’t achieved what I wanted to, I’m not sure I can.

So, for the time being I’m going to attempt to do both. I’m not sure how this will work out, but I’ll give it a go. For the next month my goal is to complete one month of hard training and write 10,000 words for my book. I’ll bumble along for a little while longer.image

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