Tuesday, August 9, 2011

p*ss poor planning = poor performance

Me + exercising have not seen eye to eye this summer.

As I've mentioned before, this is pretty ironic because this weekend I'm going to ride 150 miles to Sandusky and back. On. My. Bike. (Bicycle, for those of you who needed that clarification).

It's not that I don't think I can do it, but I just don't feel like I prepared adequately for it. In other words, it's a matter of how sore I am going to be next Monday.

This is no body's fault but my own, and it's not even because I've been lazy. It's simply because I didn't have a plan. It can be pretty easy for me to get burnt out on training, but I freaking LOVE running, or biking, or just BEING active. Regardless, I still need to force myself to make time in my day for it...otherwise it hits the back burner pretty quickly.

In the future I am going to do a few things to avoid that "I am riding 150 miles in a few days and have not trained a lick" feeling. I know have one bridge to cross before getting to the next, but after the Pedal to the Point ride, I am going to start training, in earnest, for a half marathon on October 9th.

4 Tips to Avoiding The "OMGIhaven'ttrainedandI'mrunningamarathonin3days" feeling:

PLAN. I am coming to the realization that I have to have a plan to stay active, even if that plan is just what I'll be doing for the next week. "Monday, rest. Tuesday, run. Wednesday, bike..." etc. etc. etc. Whatever your plan is, put it on paper...or on your calendar, on your blog, on your facebook page, whatever. When you can see your plan as a whole it makes it much easier to plan around, keep track of, and make changes if necessary.

BE FLEXIBLE. Here's the other side of the "make a plan" part...be flexible with it!! Life is a lot like the ocean; fluid and unpredictable. If you have dinner plans, you can always switch your workout day with your rest day. If you are feeling extra tired, take an extra day off. If it's too hot (or too cold) out, move your workout to a different location. Most importantly, whatever happens, be totally okay with it. I am the first person to feel guilty for a missed workout, but I've been working very hard on just being. Every day is a new beginning and tomorrow is never going to remember that you had to skip today's workout.

CHANGE IT UP. Although doing the same thing day after day provides certainty and consistency (if you're into that) most people tend to get bored of the same 'ol, same 'ol after a while. Physiologically, your body even gets bored of it and will refuse to continue improving. You don't have to actually work out to be active; if you have a rest day on your schedule, take the dogs for a walk or clean your bathroom (no lie, I get a s.e.r.i.o.u.s. workout scrubbing my tub).  Go to the rock wall instead of hitting the weight room. Do a body weight circuit instead of 45 minutes on the treadmill (ugh. dreadmill).

REWARD YOURSELF. This is probably the most important part. Be generous with your rewards. Make sure they often come in the form of gratuitous amounts of ice cream (or popcorn!!!) I know this only from empirical evidence, but when you first start potty training your kids, it's often done with some sort of treat. Peanut M&Ms perhaps? Positive reinforcement is a powerful tool...there is no reason to skimp on it just because it's for you and not someone else.

Where am I going with all this?? I am taking my own advice (for once). I planned my half marathon training and I'm putting it out there; it's in my google docs and now it's out on my blog. I am going to be flexible with it though, because - unlike the Cleveland Marathon - Brandon and I won't be able to train together as much unless I can learn to bend and flex my plans. I'm changing things up, I want to incorporate speed into my training more and get faster (running faster is something I plan to rely heavily on Brandon for, because he was a soccer speed demon in a former life). AND I'm going to reward myself, because, let's be real...I never skimp on engaging in activities that make me happy!

Here is my big plan:

I will get into specifics more as I update you throughout the next eight weeks, but my end goal is not to just train for this half marathon. It's to get up to running regularly and being able to run a 10k-15k race without much prior planning and to eventually PR a 5k, then a 10k..etc. etc. 

In the meantime, wish me luck for the next 150 miles of my life!!! Have you ever experience that "I just haven't prepared well for this {insert event here}" feeling? What do you do when it happens?

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