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Thread: Training blahs

  1. #1

    Default Training blahs

    It's not about potty training, it's about training for athletic events (pause while half the readers leave!).

    Did you ever train for an event and for some reason the motivation just isn't there? I was hoping to hear how other athletes work their way through it. It's not normally a problem for me.

    I've been a runner for thirty six years and I hardly ever miss a day. (the last day I missed was about a year and two months ago). I usually run about six miles a day and once a week I do about eight or nine, just to keep the cardiovascular and endurance up. I like to run a half marathon in the spring and one in the fall so I just gradually extend the long run leading up to those events, and throw in a few semi- longer runs throughout the week as well.

    There's no real problem, but the Canada Army Run is coming up in September, and for the first time I can recall, I'm just not motivated to do the longer runs. I did a ten-miler two weeks ago, but I was back down to eight miles last week. I must admit, I often tend to over train and do more mileage than I really need to be doing, because this gives me more confidence on the day of the race. There's still close to two months until the race and I'm confident I'll turn it around. I don't abandon my goals. I'm just not enjoying it or working as hard as I usually do for it.

    I had a fantastic race at the end of May, and the training season leading up to it was awesome, so I'm not sure why I've got the blahs now. Maybe it's just the allergy season or the fact that it's been hot as hell, but I really don't like making excuses for myself.

    So that's the story. What I'd like to hear from other people is simple: How do you motivate yourself when you can't seem to get motivated?

  2. #2

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    I don't run as many miles as you when I train for a long (13.1-26.2) run. But one thing that does help me, is switching back and forth from trail running to a paved route. That makes your pace/stride/cadence vary enough that it's a very different experience. Since my leg got broken, I've been unable to run, but able to road bike. I know that has some investment cost, but it's different enough that it's quite refreshing. Sometimes a break of a week or two from running can help too.

    Ah, my free advice....worth every penny. Good luck!

  3. #3

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    For years I used to practice my instrument 8 hours a day, and yes, after awhile, it got darn boring. I think whiskybravo had a good idea. I would find a new place to run if I had the time to travel, so that you'd be seeing new scenery. I love our bike trail (also a walking/running trail) because it's so beautiful. I never get tired of it, but I often have trouble finding the time to get out on it because with the summer heat, I have to go out early in the morning.

  4. #4

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    I wouldn't mind coming up with a different route, but I live in the central core, just a block away from the Rideau Canal which runs through my city. Take a look at these images:

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=ridea...FYkNkgodTwsBTQ

    My route is along the bike paths on the Canal, and it is completely free of cars and stop lights. They keep the paths ploughed in the winter and the Canal itself is converted into 'the world's largest skating rink' which is how it is listed in the Guinness book of records. Several years ago they added a footbridge over it just where I get onto the canal, so now I can go up one side of the Canal, cross over at a bridge and come back on the other side to cross the footbridge and I'm home. I can't imagine a better or more beautiful route. It has also been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/on/r...lan/plan3.aspx. Maybe this is part of the problem. It would be great to have a different route, but what could possibly top this?

    I ran with a running club in my competitive days and the trail running real did shake things up, whiskeybravo. My Canal route is just flat and asphalt paths the whole way. The problem is that I'm up at 5:00a.m. just to get my run in before a hectic day. There's just be no time to get anywhere to a route with trails, and even then I'd be running them in the dark because I'd have to start earlier.

    Anyway, the heat wave is supposed to end after today, so hopefully that will help get things on track.
    Last edited by Starrunner; 30-Jul-2015 at 13:27.

  5. #5

    Default

    Variety. Go somewhere else, or if you can't get away, do SOMETHING else. Your standard route may be tip-top, but after a few thousand repeats....

    My secret weapon for the blahs has always a long weekend at a state park in Wisconsin... streaking up and down hills through sundappled forest instead of my usual flat rails-to-trails. Open water swim instead of staring a a black line for hours. Choppy, up and down two-lane black top, almost traffic free, instead of light-to-light sprints dodging fat, phone-yapping housewives in SUV's.

    After 36 years, your legs aren't going to forget how, regardless of WHAT you do, or even if you do nothing at all. Cardiovascular edge goes away a little quicker, but there are plenty of other things that can take you to the red zone just as well. Cycling, swimming, rowing, climbing, soccer, fencing.. The slightly different muscle recruitment might be a problem for a beginner, not you. 36 years of pounding adaptation into muscles, bones and tendons doesn't disappear just because you modified your perfect training schedule. You're not going to forget how to pace on race day just because your haven't done it in a couple weeks. What should frighten you as a runner is the fact that you can swim or bike for hours longer than you can run without important body parts getting pounded into dust. I once did iron distance after a summer of no running at all due to injury...up until 3 weeks before. Did a half marathon as a 'last long run' then just to prove to myself the legs still worked. Long bike and swim sessions filled the gap. My race time was within a couple minutes of the year before, more than accounted for by the exceptional heat on race day. More than 20% of the field DNF'd.

    Its also possible that the problem is physical rather than mental. I wouldn't mention overtraining to a beginner, because they have no concept of the training volume required to do that, but you seem like you might be a candidate. Warmups taking forever before your legs feel right? Heartrate won't come up no matter what you do? Legs feel flat? That could be overtraining, or heaven forbid, some other physical ailment.

  6. #6

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    A couple further thoughts, having re-read. Only having missed one day in however long... that's fairly typical obsessive behavior. You're not at a mileage level where rest days are required, still, one day off per week is an awfully good idea, even if you don't feel like you need it.

    Back in your competitive days, you almost certainly did track intervals once or twice a week. Done right, they require a rest day afterward, especially at our age. Ideally, there's a high school or college track within your warm-up distance. Easy jog there, 10x or 12x400 with 30-60 seconds between (or 200's, or 800's, or ladders....), depending on your fitness level. easy jog home. If that's not feasible, your regular route, but sprint 3 lampposts, walk 1. You have to practice fast to run fast. A little speed work will do more for your performance on race day than a few more miles at the same old pace. The change of pace followed by a rest day is a good mental break as well.

    For something completely different, but still doable on your usual venue, ride'n'tie. All you need is 1 friend, 1 bike, and 10 miles (or thereabouts). The bike can be a piece of crap as long as its rideable. You both start together, one running, one riding. The guy on the bike goes ahead, drops the bike, then starts running. You pick up the bike, leapfrog past him, drop the bike and start running. The distances don't matter, but it works best if you drop the bike while your partner can still see you. In a public venue, that prevents theft. In the middle of nowhere, it prevents two guys at the end looking at each other saying "I thought you had the bike". In practice, that makes the run intervals somewhere between 100 and 400 yards. Done at race pace, it may well be the hardest sprint workout you ever do.

    There's a race like that here, a couple weeks after the Chicago Marathon. The season is over, so you get a lot of elites showing up just because. Almost won one year partnered with one of my age group arch-rivals, but I've also done it at various times with co-workers, Mrs. Maxx, or Maxx junior. Its self-adjusting. You and your partner don't have to be the same speed, or even close. The faster runner just runs more. I've also done it just as a workout. A couple times, I did it with Maxx Junior on mountain bike trails when we only had the one mountain bike between us on camping vacations.

  7. #7

    Default

    well, a change is often as good as a holiday.

    after 36 years, though, are you not just bored with it?
    personally, i can't get motivated in anything if i can't see any practical purpose for it; and where something is totally worthless (like my selfies, for example), it has to serve as an outlet for some frustration/fantasy (well, a pressure relief valve is always useful).
    perhaps another sporty hobby? climbing is good and has that self-challenge aspect.

  8. #8
    noahVmiller

    Default

    Usually I can motivate myself by looking forward to something but I literally have nothing to look forward too...in fact my birthday is coming up - but knowing that, counting down the days until I turn one more year older couldn't be more depressing in my current life. My birthday will yet again be another reminder that I am destined to be forever alone with a heart overflowing with unconditional love. I can't tell you the last memorable birthday I had, holidays are the shit for me. I've had a life event ruin just about every single one so theres that.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by ade View Post
    well, a change is often as good as a holiday.

    after 36 years, though, are you not just bored with it?
    personally, i can't get motivated in anything if i can't see any practical purpose for it; and where something is totally worthless (like my selfies, for example), it has to serve as an outlet for some frustration/fantasy (well, a pressure relief valve is always useful).
    perhaps another sporty hobby? climbing is good and has that self-challenge aspect.
    I regarded ultra endurance sports as self abuse for a number of years, until I stumbled into a clinic at the local Y run by a bubbly young professional athlete. Whatever she was selling, I was buying. I had enough running background that I thought I could be pretty good with a little effort. Silly me. I was nowhere near as good as I thought. Fortunately or unfortunately, I'm OCD enough that I stuck with it long enough to feel the endorphin buzz. If you've never been there, you can't appreciate. Side benefit, you burn enough calories that obtaining beer and pizza can be a matter of life and death. I guarantee Starrunner has felt it, or he wouldn't be asking the question.

  10. #10

    Default



    Quote Originally Posted by Maxx View Post
    ....I stuck with it long enough to feel the endorphin buzz. If you've never been there, you can't appreciate. Side benefit, you burn enough calories that obtaining beer and pizza can be a matter of life and death. I guarantee Starrunner has felt it, or he wouldn't be asking the question.
    don't worry, i know the buzz (and the straddling of pain and orgasm). but it's like any sexual or pleasurable activity, no matter how much you still enjoy it, it still becomes samey and boring and loses the edge it once had.

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