Today (6th November 2022) was my first day back training after several weeks out with COVID amongst other things. This weekend I missed a Backyard Ultra race which I had been looking forward to for months. Today’s training was a reminder (not that I needed one) that I have lost a lot of fitness and have a long journey ahead of me.
A year ago, this situation would have floored me. But today I feel quite calm about it all, so I thought I’d share a few observations in the hope that they may help you when you hit those inevitable bumps on the road.
Get the benefit of your experience. I have been very unfit before and I progressed from here to a very high level of fitness. It wasn’t easy and it took time but I did it. So I can do it again. And this time I will be starting from a higher point with all of that knowledge and experience behind me. Whatever hurdles you face now, there will be things that you have already done that should give you the confidence that you can do it again this time;
Have more than 1 goal. Running is a sport which has a habit of derailing us at the worst times and in unpredictable ways. My disappointment at missing this weekend’s race has been tempered by the fact that my eyes are firmly on the much bigger goal of the Lakeland 100 next July. And before I get to this race, I will have booked in the next big race so that if things go wrong, I can shift my focus to the next one. It’s good to have an ‘A’ race, but try not to put all your proverbial eggs in one basket.;
Be prepared to adapt. The next few weeks are unlikely to see me lifting the big weights that I planned or doing any big runs. But I can get some great gym sessions in, focusing on technique and mobility, and I can do some weighted hikes recceing my race route. There’s almost always something that you can do which will keep your fitness levels up and provide some good training, so be prepared to do things a little differently and you will get some great benefits.
Tomorrow I may try a short recovery run. It is likely to be a sobering experience. But it will be the first step on the road to recovery and I look forward to seeing where the journey takes me. As ever, please reach out on the group or to me directly if you need guidance or want to share your experiences. Happy running everyone