Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Finding motivation in the off-season

As mentioned before, I decided this year I wanted my November and December to be unstructured, to call my own shots for a bit. After five full years of racing and training, other than injury time-outs, I was ready to re-charge and Coach Jim was in full support. And from a coach's perspective, it seems silly to write workouts for someone who really shouldn't be and certainly doesn't need to be "working out" with any focus. I'm still logging what I'm doing, we communicate often, and we've begun planning for 2015. The real work will start in early January.

Left to my own devices, I didn't do a whole lot in November - I biked around 180 miles, ran 45, hit the gym a few times, and swam just 5700 yds. I felt a bit lost and absent was the satisfaction that comes from training. I started to look for some ways to motivate without the burden of a structured plan.

Along came the Runabout Sports December 100 Mile Challenge. I knew this was just the ticket and it lit an instant fire under me and lots of friends too! It has the perfect elements of community, flexibility, accountability, and fun. That very afternoon I hit treadmill for my own little speed workout, and I've been having a blast since finding different ways and places to get out and run!

Ironically, my two highest run mileage weeks of the entire year have been the past two!! This could be good base mileage to carry into January. (And now you know my little secret...I'm a low volume runner.)

I'm currently at 34 miles for the month.

The other place I needed a kick in the pants was the pool. I solved that with a new holiday swimsuit. In order to lower my cost-per-wearing of the Santa and Reindeer suit (which was more than the $30 I typically spend on a suit)...well, I pretty much have to go to the pool. It's not exactly something you can wear anywhere else!

It also helps to have friends at the pool :-) Good accountability!!!

Just a few small changes on the motivation front initiated a great ripple effect for me. 

If your fitness motivating is waning this time of year, find some new ways to get excited about it. Consider making a pact with friends, or try a different group fitness class, or get a new pair of running shoes. A change-up can have a big impact.