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Notes to myself (part 4)

The final part of a four-part series of my top ten training tips I’ve picked up this year. 

Part one can be found here. Part two here. Part three here.

Lesson 9: Workout/life balance

The balance of training and everything else in life is more important than anything. And the key word there is balance. Running is great for having a positive effect on mental health, but that can’t be at the expense of neglecting other areas of life. 

This year one of my friends got married after a two year covid induced delay to the proceedings. I went on his stag do and the wedding was a wonderful few days stay away. Both of these events created rich memories for me, but the training plan was completely shot for a while after both.

So the training plan has to reflect that. I’ve said my training focus is always around a specific race. The learning here is not to programme hard up to it, but put flexibility for things like this to happen. Accept that an overall two week period could be lost, so build that in. What does recovery look like? How do I rebuild after a break? Adaptability is the key.

Lesson 10: Write about it!

The worst part of running outside of running is washing your training gear. Running kit stinks! The best part of running outside of running has been writing about it. 

Community is so important and I count myself lucky to have a wonderful local community. Running communities, particularly free ones like Parkrun, are great institutions that couldn’t operate without the network of dedicated volunteers to help organise and mange them. This year I’ve also now taken  the opportunity to be part of an online community and I’ve enjoyed every minute of that engagement.

The process of writing is mentally stimulating and cathartic; the process of publishing is exciting: I generally schedule my posts and forget about them when the scheduled time passes and then scramble to do a last second final final final proof before it’s committed to the vast internet vault. I find that this approach injects a delightful adrenaline boost into the publishing cycle.

I’ve enjoyed reading other people’s experiences and some amazing efforts far beyond what I could ever do. I’ve offered my personal advice to the community and taken advice back, everything is about learning and sharing, and there’s something wonderful about that. 

To everyone who has given this blog their time and thought, I thank you. In the grand scheme of the world these musings are of minor importance, but your interaction with me has kept me going and given me positivity where I might previously have given up some time ago.  

Thanks again for reading. My next post will be Sunday and the day of the big race where we’ll find out how far I’ve really come on my training journey. Wish me luck!

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