Working within my training limits I tried to set up a base to launch future improvements over the next few months. Many think of base training as low intensity and high volume. It’s not how I define it. For years I’ve run from the working definition of base training:
To develop a well balanced athlete capable of optimally responding to the stress of competition specific training
The aches and tightness from the previous month dissipated and my running felt smoother. My ego still tried to get in the way. It argued against dropping the volume on my easy runs. Yet dropping a couple of kilometres on those runs has made a big difference.
No monster sessions. They are still some months off. Instead, I’m creating habits. Trying to make my training a day after day thing. The volume will come out of consistency and progression. Not from pushing it crazy hard now.
Time management is important. I’ve let it slip lately. Over the last year I’ve worked on accepting last minute changes to my schedule because of kids, life and work. I’ve seen improvement in a lack of stress when I’m presented with changes. It’s also morphed into a lack of planning ahead. As a result I’ve lost a lot of efficiency. This needs to change if I want to increase my training. I need to get other stuff done. Life is more than just running.
Willpower is limited in how far it can take you over time. It can work as a bridge, but is almost impossible to rely on every day. Habits are more useful. The brain works well with habits. We become what we do. I use triggers and repetition to change and create habits. It takes some deliberate action and critical thinking. Over the last few weeks I haven’t been doing this. Time to start again and follow these general steps:
- Decide on the action I want to take and when.
- Use a trigger to prompt me to take that action.
- Develop a protection against negative actions around that trigger
It sounds simple, but it takes repetition to make it work. Procrastination is the biggest enemy here. It’s become a habit to procrastinate.
The running bit wasn’t too bad. Each week I covered about 50-60km. Kept my long runs relatively short, but focussed on making sure I was running and not shuffling. I sprinkled in a few hill repeats, but mainly kept it all conservative. Most importantly I’m getting the right feel and flow in my running. It not just about the paces I hit, but how I achieve those paces. Anyone can force up the speed, but it takes a bit more time, patience and skill to achieve the speed and keep it relaxed. That is what I am aiming for. I’m just starting to see the early hints of it since coming back from injury.