Staying positive when training time is limited

I DON’T like to miss a training session, but sometimes no matter how hard I try life gets in the way.

Take last week. Things were hectic. As well as work and study deadlines, the ponies kept escaping. They’d spotted the spring grass and were prepared to brave the electric fence to get to it. Most of my training involved chasing them round the field.

ponies 141

Apart from that, well not much has been happening on the training front. Last Monday was a club run, which was a slow social run. Tuesday I eased myself into a few hills, but only a few as I’ve not done hill training for a long time (it feels like months) and I didn’t want to do too much too soon. On Wednesday I attended a blogging workshop, before heading to university for a talk with a literary agent, followed by a masterclass with the novelist Monique Roffey. Not surprisingly, there wasn’t much running involved.

On Thursday I had a full day of teaching, followed by a short story course which didn’t finish until 10pm. Thankfully, I managed to squeeze a three mile run in before work. Friday, I had a meeting in a nearby cafe, drank too much tea, and felt so sick for the rest of the day that I couldn’t run. I suppose I could have forced myself out, but decided against it.  Shame on me!

Saturday was a success. I had a lovely 12-mile off-road run in wonderful sunshine, and blogged about this. Sunday I was working in the morning, but managed a three mile run (3.8 actually) before meeting friends for the day, which also involved eating a big roast dinner. This Monday, I had that much work to do that I couldn’t run at all, and work has to come first.

The guilt set in. I began to panic. Maybe I’ve lost my focus. I’m supposed to be trying to break 40 minutes for a 10k, and here I am messing about with three mile runs, or no runs depending on the day. To make matters worse I’ve been happily munching my way through crisps, minstrels and midget gems.

What to do?

‘Don’t panic,’ Chris said. ‘I’ve not done anything either.’

‘You never do anything!’ Chris is one of those annoying types who seem to have a natural talent for running. A lot of his training involves sitting on his backside reading books about training.

I’m not like that. I have to work really hard. I have to put in the miles. I need the sessions. I need the structure.

Instead of beating myself up about my lack of training, I’ve decided to see it as a positive. A light week will do me good. I will probably feel better for the rest. I’ve also had a great week of writing related activities, which is good. Running three miles is better than not running at all.

Missing a few sessions also meant that last night I trained hard, and absolutely loved it. Immediately, I felt better. My times didn’t threaten any world records, but they were okay. It was just so nice to be back doing a session. I don’t have the luxury of being a full time athlete, so there are  bound to be times when other things take priority. I’m pleased to say that this doesn’t happen very often. Somehow,  I manage to juggle everything so that at 6pm on training nights, the ponies are secured in their paddock, the work has been put to one side, and the books have been closed.

I will have to learn to accept that sometimes it’s not possible to do everything. Missing training is not great, but with life being so hectic, it’s going to happen. Instead of stressing about the missed training, I’m going to  applaud myself for managing to do any running at all.



  1. Sarah Gough
    16th March 2016 / 4:01 pm

    A rest / light running week, although hard to accept really does do you good Liz.xx

    • 16th March 2016 / 9:04 pm

      Lol not when I’m eating like a horse. A snickers and a bag of giant hula hoops on my way back from uni this evening. Double shame on me!

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