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Training for life took on a new meaning for me last summer. I put racing on hold as I tried to figure out the next steps in dealing with my injuries. There was no point in subjecting myself to extra pain that would only result in a poor outcome. However, I still ran almost every day. My “training” wasn’t regimented as per my usual protocol. It couldn’t be. I was never certain, on any given day, how far or fast I would be able to run.
Each day, I set off with a plan, but allowed myself to make changes on the go depending upon my level of pain on that day. I continued to show up for group training sessions, but knew that much of the time I would go home early due to an inability to complete the workout due to pain escalation.
During the worst of it all, I was taking some medication to help reduce debilitating abdominal muscle spasms and pain. The medicine had undesirable side effects, particularly for an athlete: extreme muscle soreness, fatigue, and dizziness. When I was taking the medicine, my daily training was the most hampered. I was reduced to very short runs, walk/runs or walks. I persisted though, not allowing my situation to keep me shackled to my house, especially because the sun shined and Diesel the Dog really didn’t care if I ran fast or slow or long or short or if I needed to stop every 5 minutes to catch my breath.
I mention this, because for so many of us, our training is anchored by upcoming races.
Adjust your attitude
What happens, then, when you can’t race? Not being able to race can occur for a variety of reasons, such as job obligations, family commitments, health issues, financial reasons, or merely a lack of desire to race.
All too often, when the racing stops, training ceases too. But, if you love training and all of its benefits — the endorphins, the stress relief, the social outlet, the ability to just “reboot” – then not racing shouldn’t deter you from training.
Last summer, I not only adapted my training, I shifted my attitude. Rather than training for a race, I trained for life. I knew, unequivocally, that nothing would be more dangerous to my psyche than letting my running shoes collect dust. I could not get wrapped up in pace or distance. I had to appreciate that anything I could do athletically, was better than doing nothing at all. A 30 minute run interspersed with some walking still gave me a jolt of goodness and satisfaction unachievable by just continuing to stare at my computer screen and toiling away with work related projects.
The point is, some training, is better than no training. Maintaining training is always a tough balance with life, but, for those us who are used to physical activity, training must be part of our order and balance to function constructively.
The benefits that training bestows upon us is so much more than the next race on our schedule. We have all been doing this long enough to know that training in of itself should be the end game and training for life is the anchor not upcoming races.
If for some reason your training is on hold, control your frustration and restrain your envy of those better off. Maximize your training potential, whatever it might be at the moment. Free up your mind and body to new possibilities of what will give you satisfaction. Our training and racing capabilities are always in flux; we must be malleable enough to change as conditions change. We have the ability to find the level of training that will get us through the tough times to be ready when conditions improve and racing is possible again. You will appreciate the foundation you kept when you were training for life.
If you need help learning how training for life can work for you, we can help. Get in touch with us for a consultation.