Saturday, January 9, 2010

Post-holiday funk

Since coming back off holiday, I have been lazy, and not gone out running. Admittedly it was snowing quite a bit last weekend, and it was icy for most of the week, but I did not even run on the treadmill (except on Thursday). I had also asked some advice on how to restart my programme, and whether my 2 week lay-off had 'ruined' my chances of doing the marathon in February. Coach Kelly from the runnerslounge had some very useful advice:
"Hello Nataila
Happy Hogmanay and Happy New Year to you too! Sounds like you are doing many things right. With this detail and background, I do not see this being a major issue. Listen to your body and pay attention - if things start to ache perhaps you are doing too much too quickly. It sounds like you have a good base and are cross training so I highly doubt that 2 weeks off this far out will cause too much problems. The problem is following a "cookie cutter" type of program though. That is how so many people get injured and actually is a man reason why I have a job as a coach:) We only do 100% customized training plans so we can adapt to all things that come up.
When you take 2 weeks completely off, you can just jump back into the training plan where you would be if you never missed it. That increases your chances of injury! As I mentioned in the beginning, it's so much better to run shorter, more frequently than to run a couple times a week for longer. So, that is my recommendation- build back by doing 20 to 30 minutes 5 to 6 days a week, then if you wish after about 2 weeks, you'll likely be stronger for it. You'll need to adjust your plan for the 2 weeks missed and the new 2 weeks.
I hope this helps! Congrats on all you are doing! I hope you have tons of fun and lots of success!"
What a great encouragement, and yet I have not managed to get my mind into gear yet. I did a half hour run on Thursday, and that was good, but I seem to have lost a few bits in between. I have decided not to complain and go into overdrive about this, as is my tendency. I want to run for the rest of my life, and I also want to improve and get a faster. Therefore, I think that 'slow' periods are part of this. Still, all well and good waxing philosphical about it, but has anyone else been in this position, and have some advice for getting out of this funk?


  1. Maybe you could compare running to a roller coaster. There are always peaks and troughs in training cycles. Just as a coaster goes fast downhill, it always slows down and has to work hard to get back to the top. I became so focused on my training that I forgot why I started running again. I had to tell myself that running wasn't my job, but rather something that I was fortunate enough to be able to do. My advice would be to think of all the reasons why you started running in the first place, and all the enjoyment you've gained from it. Hope this makes sense.

  2. 2 weeks won't hurt you. I had to take 3 off when I sprained my ankle and I'm just as strong today and feel good about the upcoming marathon.

    I have been in a funk, matter of fact it wasn't too long ago. I just came out of it and can't think of anything specifically that I did. Do you have friends you can run with? Maybe sign up for a 5K and feel the excitement of the people around you.

    I think what put me into my funk is comparing my runs to other runs and feeling like I should be better and faster. I was focusing on what I didn't have. Focusing on the lack is almost never supportive.

    I think as you accomplish yours runs, you will gain your confidence back. In the meantime, keep going out there, doing each of your runs and realize that is one more step for you to get to your goals.

  3. Another tip for beating a funk that I've come across is to leave your watch at home and just run for the sake of running--look at the scenery around you instead of focusing on training or upcoming races. Glad to hear Stuart's RLS is better--that plastar of paris boot must have been uncomfortable. Best Wishes.

  4. Not only was it 3 weeks but the following week was only like 5 miles because I could only go around the block (.5 mile) the first day. I'm learning that the training is accumulative and even with time off, I'm stronger this year than last year. That although I may lose conditioning during the offtime, the rest has done me good.