You’ve had a nice summer holiday, you’ve relaxed at the beach, been to a few barbecues, eating ice cream because it’s been so damn hot. And now what?
Your legs feel sluggish climbing the stairs, your clothes are getting a little bit tighter and what’s that? You have a marathon to run in a little over four months?
This sounds a lot like the me of the past. I remember those summer training runs just trying to get fit for the Marathon Clinic timed run to determine our packs for the season.
Oh those were the days, when that timed run was further than I had run all holidays. When a 5km run around the park and back home was a slog. Oh the memories. Feeling the burn on what should be an easy run.
So who needs to get fit and fast?
It’s not going to happen overnight, sorry to say, but like Rachel Hunter told us many moons ago, it will happen.
If you’re easing back into training and you have a set race in mind count back the weeks from then to now and work out your training plan. Commit to action now, not next week.
1) Commit to a race, such as the Rotorua Marathon, or another goal, such as running a sub 60 minute 10km by May 1.
Having something to work towards can be a good push to get you back outside and running again – after all, you want to give that goal a good shot.
2) Find a friend. Teaming up with a running buddy can be the best thing you will ever do for your running. Seriously.
One winter I wanted to stay fit but I knew that left to my own devices I would opt for snooze instead of lacing up my shoes. If you don’t have a friend who runs ask around. I posted in the triathlon club Facebook page. You might strike it lucky and make a new friend as well as get fit.
3) Don’t be too hard on yourself. So you can’t run those faster kilometre splits that you managed last season, it’s not the end of the world. Keep running and you will get there eventually.
4) Try something different. I sometimes get bored of the same route, so I change it. I sometimes feel like running a shorter but quicker session and if I’ve been in a funk this works magic.
I once lost my training mojo (yes, it happens to me too) so I ran without a watch. I’ve been known to (in my Edinburgh days) catch a bus to the other side of town and run back just to run somewhere different.
If you don’t feel like running, don’t do it. You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. Some people find they get into a run within 5 minutes of setting out, but if you would rather hang out with your kids, sleep in or do some gardening, do that instead. You can always run another day.
If you’ve been a runner before your muscles won’t have forgotten, and you’re unlikely to have lost much pace either.