Hello friends and hello Monday! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I really had a nice one and I’m always thankful when I can start Monday morning feeling refreshed and ready to face the week! I am also ready to face this week because it is only a four-day work week for me! Friday morning, Lee and I will start our vacation and we will be heading down to Virginia! Please make this week go fast!
Yesterday, I had one of the best runs that I have ever had and it got me thinking about a few things, especially because I am wrapping up my training for my half on Sunday. I can say that 99% of the times that I head out on a run, I have a goal in mind. It is always usually a distance goal and, sometimes, I throw in a timed goal, as well. Also, I have a love-hate relationship with running. I really love running races and training for them, but if I have no race on my schedule, very rarely do I head out to run for fun because it’s not my top cardio choice. So, that means that when I’m running, I always have an agenda. I always have a mileage that has to get done. I always have ‘this many’ weeks to do ‘this many’ miles. Yesterday was completely different and it made me rethink the way I feel about running.
In case you missed my post yesterday, I headed out on a run that was way later than I ever start and I had no distance, time, or route in mind. I slightly had an idea of what I wanted to do but I didn’t set any app to any certain distance and decided to just go with it. In the end, I ended up running for fun and just listened to my body and I realized that it was something that I needed to do more often.
Which brings me to my thoughts for today… Training plans. Obviously, training plans are necessary. They condition our bodies, allowing them to ease into any distance and they condition our minds, allowing them to mentally be ready to tackle the task of running. As necessary as training plans are, I think they can be a challenge and create very unnecessary stress.
There are times when my schedule might get wacky during the week and I’ll miss a run and worry a little that I messed up my plan. I will look ahead to the weekend and see my long run and, right away, start worrying that I won’t be able to do it. I will be in the middle of a long run not feeling so well and knowing that my body wants me to stop, but will worry that if I do, I will be a failure because I didn’t reach my mileage goal for the day. Looking back at my running history and the fact that I usually only run regularly when I’m training for races, I feel like I constantly live in a state of ‘the training plan.’ I realized yesterday that I need to break that cycle. As with anything, running because you have to and not because you want to can cause a bad feelings and I definitely don’t want that!
I do love running and I do want it to be something that I totally enjoy. I need to start working on making my runs fun and not putting the pressure on myself to always go farther or run faster. I need to start letting my body sync with my mind and use running as an outlet. I need to realize that while I need to follow plans, it is okay to deviate from them and chill out. In the end, skipping a run or finishing one before I hit that goal mile isn’t going to be the end of the world. I truly believe that the more I fit fun, unplanned runs into my schedule, the more I will enjoy the sport and, who knows, maybe even have running become my cardio of choice!
With all of that said…today is a rest day for me. I might throw some abs in tonight but I won’t be doing anything too major! Have a happy day, everyone!
With much Love and Laughter,
Something to share: Do you think training plans can put unnecessary stress on runners? Have you had any big realizations when it comes to your fitness lately?