I’ve reached the point in my training which I knew would come eventually, where the getting up at 5.40am starts to become dull, where it takes me twice as long to tie my laces in the morning than normal and where the thought of just rolling over and snoozing becomes oh so tempting.
My work schedule hasn’t helped things, I’m currently doing a coverage for a colleague in the US, but from here which means lots of late night meetings. Hardly conducive to being bright and fresh in the morning is it? But it’s also just the repetition, 560 miles run this year now and that takes its toll. There are only so many different routes you can take from home, especially when you run with a dog. You become blasé about the beautiful scenery and sunrises and it becomes just another run.
This isn’t me and isn’t why I run. I run because I love it, I love being outdoors on the trails, being part of the scenery. I don’t want it to become a chore or something I ‘have’ to do. But that morning slot is my main opportunity to run so I can’t go out at a different time and of course Bracken still needs his exercise.
So what to do? Well they say a change is as good as a holiday so I’m doing a couple of new things with my training. First I’m adding in some speed work to my runs, either short sections on my normal run where I up the pace, or stopping and doing a 4 or 5 sprints up a section of the trail. It adds a new element and challenge to break the plod, avoid every run being the same. It of course also has benefits to my training and helps build some extra speed into my legs.
Second I’m increasing the cycling, which may sound an odd way to improve your running but there is some logic. I need to do a good amount of cycling anyway given that there is 70 miles of cycling in the race, but by increasing the amount I do it gives me the cardio workout and means I can do an easy run in the morning and not feel guilty. I’m also trying to do some days where I do a bike and a run, straight after each other where possible. Perfect training for that transition in the race and a great new challenge to keep me sharp.
The race is less than 3 months away now and despite my bravado is starting to get a bit real, I can feel the nerves building and the doubts as to whether I can do it. I re-watch the race video every so often and get that goose bump feeling at the thought that it’ll be me stood next to the North Sea on 14th September waiting to cross Scotland in a day. Scary stuff, but also a great motivator.
But if all that fails you just have to remind yourself as you lie under your warm duvet that you never regret a run.