What happens when you hit the pavement for your easy run and it feels a little hard? It is a major blow to the ego. Sometimes, you get injured. Sometimes, you lose focus and motivation. Sometimes, you want to improve but you just don't know how to get there. So what do you do when you feel like you have to start all over? How do you get back into running again after an injury or other set back?
Suck it Up?! Totally kidding on that one, unless that's what works for you. That dose not however, work for me and that's partly why I finally hired a running coach. Sometimes I think maybe this is all just in my head and I need to get over it, but either way I've been feeling really down lately about my running- or lack there of. About a month ago I was cleared from my PT to start running again. Although I had to start at a very humbling slow pace and short distance, I’ve been adding just a little more distance each week and slowly, but surely making progress. I've finally accepted defeat and am admitting to possibly needing some help in my journey. As stubborn as I am, I admit I do not know it all, especially when it comes to running. I know I'm just coming back from an injury, but lately I'm having to put forth more effort than I remember and I even have to stop a few times to take a breather on a run that usually would have been an easy or recovery run for me. There is nothing I can do but keep doing it and have faith that over the next couple of weeks it will get easier again. It is just as much a mental game as it is a physical one. I just have to be patient with my body.
I've recently hired a personal trainer at my gym to assist me with my strength training as I make my way back from this injury, I can't wait to see where this goes, I hope we will get along! Let's keep me off the injury list by training smarter, right? I admit, it’s been a struggle to figure out what my body needs to be happy. It’s been a hit on my self-esteem as I find myself not being able to do things I could just weeks ago or as I look in the mirror and not like some of what I see looking back. I feel like I can always do better and I'm short changing my potential. I’ve always been a little embarrassed to talk about seeking a personal coach… in my mind coaches were only reserved for fast, elite runners and I definitely did not fall into that category. Well, as I see it now, I was thinking backwards. The coach is supposed to (hopefully) push me to that level, help me improve and find that potential that's buried inside me somewhere.
A coach can be extremely beneficial to any athlete. They give you a second opinion on your training and utilize their vast experience coaching other athletes to give you solid advice for training and racing. Although training plans from books and websites might get you to the finish line, they don't offer the flexibility & knowledge that a coach offers. To achieve my goals of getting my endurance back & getting faster, I need some help. I’ve read so much about running and different types of training plans that honestly, I’m confused. I have no idea if running 3 or 6 days a week is better. I have no idea how long of a long run I should do before race day. I have no idea how often I should race during a training cycle without affecting my performance. So instead of trying to figure this all out on my own, I hired a coach.
I had a very long phone conversation with Coach Ryan after a few initial email exchanges and I knew after that call that he would be my coach. One of my top priorities was finding someone with experience in both racing & coaching. I wanted to feel confident that my coach could give me sound advice. It was also important to me that a coach would be okay with my style of training. I want to commit to training this year but I am also unwilling to give up my life for training, I did that during marathon training and I'll never do it again. There always has to be a balance for me. Coach Ryan was clearly very excited to take me on as a client. He offers unlimited contact and I have a feeling I might be utilizing that for at least the first few weeks while I get the hang of this. He is pretty confident that he can get me to where I need to be to achieve my goals and I am very excited about working with him!
Even though my training plan isn’t changing a lot in terms of structure, there are some definite changes in the workouts, all things I'm not used to. This week was my first week with his plan. I enjoy having a fairly consistent week to week schedule again. The tempo workout that he gave me seemed like it would be easy based on the interval times and pace, but once I realized there was only 1 minute rest between, it turned out to be a tiny challenge, yet confidence boosting, workout. So far, so good! Despite finally catching the cold that has been going around, I was able to have a good training week. I am excited about this change and I think it will give me even more confidence in my training come race day morning. Now, it’s time to put in the work!
Dream Big. Work Hard. :)