Thursday, July 24, 2014

Training when you aren't "feeling it"

This was me, this morning, before my swim, which was to precede my run. I was not "feeling it." I was not really feeling like training. I was not feeling like brushing my hair and I was not feeling like anything much but crawling back in bed.

But I ate breakfast, had a cup of coffee, brushed my teeth but not my hair (why mess with a masterpiece, lol), and I went to the pool to swim with Coach Tom and the group, as scheduled. There were lots of swimmers today and once I swam a few laps, my brain stopped complaining and got to work. I had a good workout!

After a change of clothes, a banana, and another cup of coffee, I did my first track workout in ages and frankly, it had me nervous. I was not feeling good, not feeling PUMPED and PRIMED and JACKED and EXCITED for the mile repeats like I would want to be. But of course I did it anyway, because it was on the schedule and you don't not train because you aren't feeling perfect because that would not get you very far.

I emptied my brain and again got to work. I started off too fast on the first mile, paced the second pretty steady as instructed, and then on the third I was given a more aggressive range of 6:15 to 6:30 and I thought I might struggle to come under 6:30. I just focused on cadence and staying relaxed, and darned if I didn't hit the 6:15!!

This was a great reminder that you can still have a really good workout even if you aren't "feeling it."

Coach Jim said afterward that the physical and the mental/emotional do not have to match if the physical is strong enough.

One huge advantage to being coached and to having a schedule that your coach invested time and thought to develop, is that you don't skip a workout or mess with a workout without a sound reason (sick, injured, extra recovery clearly called for). By sticking to the schedule you gain experience training through so many emotional and physical conditions that you figure out you really do not have to feel great to perform great! Then on race day, when you wake up not in the mood to race, you know that it's OK. Once the horn sounds, you WILL be in the mood, you will know what to do, and you will have that consistent training to carry you through.

Truth be told, more often than not before a workout I am not "feeling it." But inevitably, within a minute of starting a workout, I am already so happy I did. It takes effort and discipline to get out there and do this stuff, it's not easy for any of us, but the rewards are enormous!

Whatever you need to be starting or doing, don't wait to be "feeling it" -- just start!