The grind.....Work, kids, friends, significant others, pets, et. etc. It's our lives.
We all know the drill: our weekly schedule runs Monday through Sunday. That’s where we live our main life and compartmentalize everything within those 7 days. Monday rolls around and a new week starts. The grind and schedule comes again as we go through our to do list.
But is this really an effective way to gauge our success?
While in some regards it is a new start, it doesn’t magically my erase the week prior. This is especially true for our running and cross training life. Our bodies don’t have a instant reset button that wipes away the stresses of training (even though damn that would be awesome!!!) Most of the time in non training cycles it doesn’t play a huge roll that we go week after week since our collective mileage is fairly low. However, during training cycles especially for half and full marathons I find it helpful to be mindful of more than just the 7 day strings.
Before someone DM's me about 10 day training "weeks", yes I know what they are but that's not where I'm going with this....stay with me, my tangents *almost* always have a point.
I’ll be the first to admit and be transparent that I’ve been struggling a bit on my long runs and been kinda down about it. It being my first marathon I have to learn what works for my body and what doesn’t. I’ve had to modify my strength training, figure out where my limits are and also have the guts to push a bit beyond what I think I can do. I particularly felt down after my long run this past week. I had done my cross training on Thursday for lower body and overdid it a bit (a fact I didn’t realize until the day after). I decided to move my long run a day later than usual so that I gave my legs a chance to refresh. Figuring if it worked then yay! If it didn't then at least I tried to salvage it.
Spoiler alert: it wasn’t enough for them to fully recover. I can add the other ills that plagued me on the run but at the base of it my legs just weren’t in it and my mental toughness faltered as well.
So I decided to do what I would suggest any other runner to do: look back at your training log.
Pulling up my training log I was hit with a ton of pride in the other workouts I handed in. My speed sessions, the previous long run that I mentally and physically pushed through, and one key component—-looking at my collective miles over more than just the Monday-Sunday 7 days. I started by just adding in 1 extra day of my training and hit in the high 20’s for total mileage, then went to 10 days for a totally in the 30’s. Instead of feeling like I failed today I was instantly proud of my body for just how much it has taken. For me that is higher mileage than I've done in almost a year. It's something that I wouldn't see if I only focused on the "normal" 7 days.
Even though I am all for following plans, working on mental toughness and not getting too complacent, I also am a big believer in looking at the bigger picture than just one basic week.
Don't hesitate to look at more than just 7 days, don't forget to stay focused but not get tunnel vision that you forget everything else you've done. Don't let the 7 days break you----the days are limitless and so are you. (Sounds like a Hallmark card but I'm just gunna let it roll)