Taking A Break from Training

by ashleyd on July 30, 2014

I’m currently sitting on the roof of the JFK Delta Sky Lounge, enjoying the 80 degree temperatures and last bits of sunshine before our evening flight to Europe.

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This vacation has been absolutely incredible in so many ways and I will certainly share more details in the upcoming posts but today, I figure I should take a pause to focus on the one thing giving me a bit of anxiety right now.

The press around Shalane Flanagan sub 2:20 hour Berlin Marathon goal earlier this week made me remember that in just 8.5 weeks I too will be lacing up my sneakers and pinning on my bib to run 26.2 miles.  First of all, my mind is at a loss when I realize that she will finish the marathon before I hit the half marathon point. Second of all, while vacation has been wonderful and I have absolutely zero regrets, I haven’t exactly stuck to my training plan. As I sit here typing this post I think there may be a few anxiety hives showing up on my neck.

This vacation was a much needed chance to unplug. I have been virtually silent on social media, except for a few check-ins here and there and a daily Instagram post. Instead of focusing on an agenda and calendar each day of vacation, as I’ve done previously, I was the most relaxed I’ve been in years. Many vacations I still bring my training plan with me and focus on squeezing in every workout. While that is healthy and sometimes makes sense, for this vacation I knew I wanted to relax emotionally, physically and mentally.

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I didn’t gain a single pound on vacation due in part to the fact that I was active every single day whether walking on the beach, practicing yoga in the backyard, biking around the island, or running. My long run was 10 miles and every other run was between three and four miles, far shorter distances than my training plan prescribed. As I have my sights set on a PR in Berlin, I know this decision wasn’t necessarily the smartest physically but mentally I think it was the best thing possible. For the next 8 weeks I will be living by my training plan and this mental break allows me to start fresh. Based on my physique and headstand abilities, I know that I am the strongest I’ve ever been and that my body is ready for any challenge I will give it over these next few weeks. The first few days of training won’t be easy but at least I am fresh and ready. There may not be a washboard stomach in the below picture but there is a heart and soul that craved attempting headstands on a daily basis and finally, after days of trying, was able to hold it long enough for my dad to capture on his phone camera. IMG_1199[1]

Now it’s your turn, what are your suggestions for making my first few weeks of training easier? How do you jump back into long runs after a momentary break?

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