Here we are on day two, and I should be out on the bike by now, but pouring rain during the night followed by intermittent showers means my plans have been put on hold, so I have taken the time to write the second page of my blog. While I am determined to keep to my decision of pushing for improvement in my training, with my upcoming race meaning I should be on my taper now, added to the fact I really am not too good on the bike and wet conditions just add to the chances of an accident (translation – I am a wimp) , I think that a strategy of sensible postponement wins the day.
Actually this is a battle I have had for all my “triathlete life”, I find it so hard to raise the enthusiasm to get out on the bike, which is silly as I generally really enjoy it once I start. I can happily plan and look forward to a 100k ride on the weekend, but as Sunday rolls around I have a litany of excuses I use not to go, whether it be the terrible traffic conditions, terrible road conditions, terrible weather conditions, too tired, too busy, too many wild dogs etc. etc… I often lay in bed, having woken early specifically to go for a ride but instead of just getting dressed and out the door, I lie there and think of all the reasons I can’t go.. which always ends with me feeling regret for a missed chance, a step back on my training schedule and a general feeling of negativity instead of the positive endorphin fueled high of achievement I would have felt if I had gone…
It was very much the same with my running, once the initial whoosh of the running bug had passed, I was finding it hard to stick to a plan, often putting a run off to the following day for the slightest reason, which would then most likely result in the run not actually being done. It was typical me, lacking the self-control to complete what I set out to do, something that had been an issue with me all my life, leading to my chronic under achieving. Then, in much the same way I accidentally found a way to get out of the downward spiral of smoking/drinking by just quitting ONE-DAY-AT-A-TIME , I discovered the answer to my inability to commit to consistent running program… I became a streaker!
Ok, disclaimer.. I do not strip of to my tightie whities and run across the pitch at major sporting events, so if that is what you’re thinking, get your mind out the gutter! No, I started a running streak, which basically means you commit to run continuously for a minimum of one mile (1.6km) every single day. You must run unaided within the physical 24hr day of wherever you happen to be in the world, without rest or walking breaks (which also means that by taking 30 second breaks between 10X400 intervals at the weekly track session that it doesn’t count either, which I discovered too late and had to restart my run streak) . The deal is with yourself, no one checks or records it, although there is an official organization in the US where you can register your streak and get is displayed on their website.
While there are plenty of people who will tell you that running everyday is a bad thing, for people like me it works well. I know from the minute I wake up that sometime during the day I will have to do a run, so really is no point to avoid doing it. The motivator is that having spent one week, month, year or whatever building the streak, it would be ridiculous to break it “just coz I don’t feel like doing it”, I know I would hate myself later. My typical week will start with a short recovery run on Monday, ending with a long slow run at the weekend, averaging anywhere between 40-80k for the week depending on the season, but I know, if I am really tired or pushed for time etc, I only need to get out and run for about 10 minutes to keep the streak alive. In reality, that has meant many times I have “agreed” with myself that I only need to do the minimum 1.6k for the day, but once out on the road I end up completing whatever is written on my training schedule as the buzz kicks in. It has also lead to some rather comical situations including the “1.6k shuffle” wrapped head to foot in the warmest clothes I could find when I was suffering with a very intense bout of flu, or the rush to use the gym in the airport when I had a short time between planes on a 30 hour flight or the very strange looks I received from some late night revellers in Tokyo sheltering under a bus stop, who saw me waving my arm at the sky just before midnight while waiting for my Garmin to connect, in a snowstorm so heavy even mobile phones weren’t able to get a signal.
Run streaks are not for everyone, but they have worked for me. I did have to stop for a month this spring due to an operation, which actually was a good thing as it gave me a break and allowed me to assess where I was – I will go into that in detail on other post.
Ok, its warm and sunny outside now, so time for me to move my butt and “get the run(and bike) done”! Have a great Sunday – anyone want to go streaking with me?
Training Completed – Semi brick (50 minute rest)
Bike – 31.18k/1:43 Road Ride, two major climbs 5k and 3k. Hot and sunny. Relaxed
Run – 11.02k/1:03 @ 5:44 Road, undulating. Hot and Sunny. Felt hard