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Notes to myself (part 1)

As I come into the last week or so of training for my 10k race, it’s a good time to reflect on what I’ve learnt so far and how I’ve approached my training schedule.

It was pointed out to me recently (right here on this blog), that if I succeed in beating a twelve year old personal best time this year, I will also succeed in setting a new target to challenge a future version of me. So this post, and continued over the next few, is intended to document some lessons I’ve picked up so I can review again in the future. 

In short, these are notes to my future self, open to all. We can laugh at that future self right now, reading this with ambition of setting new records. You’re too old, find something else to do, you’re not beating this years’ time, ha ha ha!

A brief disclaimer here – I write this to document some things I’ve picked up this year in my training that may be of use to others too. I have only tested my approaches out on me, it might not be appropriate for you or fit with your personal training needs. However, I’m always happy to talk through my experience if it’s of any help to anyone.

In no particular order (except perhaps for number 10), my top ten training tips from 2022!

Lesson 1: The befores and afters 

I wrote about dynamic stretching a few weeks ago. Along with the steady build up of runs and drills before setting out on the actual run, I feel I’ve had a lot of success with my warm up routine this year.

At the end of every run I’ve done some static stretching and drunk a protein shake which I feel has helped my recovery. While I can’t quantify improvement these changes have made over previous years, I have felt confident in my ability to run and recover in good time, so recommend this approach for future years.

Lesson 2: The breath of life

I wrote about my struggle with breathing form and reasoned that a large percentage of what was stopping me going further, faster, harder, was a combination of willpower and bringing oxygen into my body. 

Both these things can be worked on. For breathing, I’ve been doing regular breathing exercises. Perhaps this could come under cross-training (spoiler alert: number 4 on the list!)? Not sure about that, but ensuring correct diaphragmatic breathing whilst cross-training would be the important thing to note. 

I have underestimated how to get more oxygen into myself throughout years of training and something I’ll need to consistently work on. The lack of oxygen seems to hit me a lot earlier on a run than the point my muscles give up on me. This is an area in need of further research, future me take note!

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