After the Perth City to Surf I faced the normal marathon ‘come-down’ where you struggle coming back to earth after the high of a good marathon finish. The early part of the following week is particularly hard as you are forced to lay off the normal running routine to give your legs, and body, some time to recover from the beating you gave it on the previous weekend. More time off you feet which is always compounded by the previous few weeks pre-marathon, which were tapering. Thus with any marathon you are always faced with a very minimal month of training, two weeks pre-marathon and two weeks post-marathon.
This is when the self-doubt starts to set in as when you do eventually start to return to the normal training schedule you are normally way off your normal cardio fitness levels. I always find I can normally return to the same weekly distance pretty quickly but pace is always more challenging.
For some reason though this time I am having trouble retuning to my weekly routine. I have been promising myself I’ll ramp up for the Rottnest Marathon end of October ( https://www.wamc.org.au/major-events/rottnest-marathon-fun-run/ ) but find every morning I just find a reason to justify not running. There have been many excuses, it’s far too cold, too dark, I’ll run longer lunch time, dogs need feeding, possible ISIS attacks (ok that one is clutching at straws but you never know, we live in a dangerous time apparently ?) I’m just finding it hard to return to my normal twice a day, 7 days a week training routine that use to be the norm.
In my defense I have moved house recently and I still haven’t found an ‘old faithful’ , a 10k run that I enjoy enough to run 4-5 times a week and one that can be run on auto-pilot. Every runner needs an ‘old-faithful’ to help them rack up the time-on-legs while not requiring any thought or too much effort. Without one of these routes you need to think about each and every run and ‘thinking’ can be mentally challenging, well it is for me. I have tried a few routes but just haven’t nailed one that I’m totally happy with. This makes the morning runs difficult to justify and at the moment this is all the excuse I need. (bar the ISIS threat of course?)
I put down my ‘stella’ year last year down to the extra training distance and double-up days and if I was to return to my pre-2016 training levels am I going to suffer, performance wise ? Add in the mix my age ‘challenges’ (This is being the wrong side of 50. ) and I seem to be in a corner. What’s the answer ? Maybe a funny looking bike with no seat.? On the weekend I dusted down the Elliptigo ( http://www.elliptigo.com/ ) and rode 40k before a 10k easy run on grass and it felt great. I got the cardio workout I required but also didn’t feel like I had exercised for over 2 hours because I have the bike and run combination. Trust me after the workout I was goosed for the rest of the day, in a good way. Maybe my days of 14 runs a week are behind me, for the moment, but with the Elliptigo I have the opportunity to keep up the hourly weekly exercising total.
So tomorrow morning I am going to run a pre-work 10k, return home, pat the dogs and then get on the Elliptigo and charge to work before treating myself to a Coffee and Banana and Walnut bread, toasted of course. I will then repeat this for the next four weeks giving me the chance to aim for a top 5 finish at Rottnest and an age group win, this is important because the competition on Rotto’ is heating up and my days in the top 5 may be numbered. The Elliptigo may be the weapon I need to drag me to the Rottnest podium one more time, that or the Banana and Walnut bread ? Also on my Elliptigo I’ll be a lot to harder to hit if ISIS do decide to target balding, bearded runners on bikes with no saddles, you never know people we live in dangerous times ?
So to sum up this post , because sometimes I lose track myself, if you lose your running mojo you need to look at other ways to maintain your cardio fitness and cycling, swimming, the gym or even funny looking bikes where you stand up may be what you need to scratch that itch. Anything is better than nothing and eventually your mojo will return and when it does you need to be ready.
I have been to Malaysia several times on business over the years and each…