Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Training Happy: My 2017 Goal

I always feel a bit twitchy about posting goals supper early on in the new year. The internet is over run with it, and I know I too get a bit bored of all the striving for perfectionism and unrealistic expectations. But I do like New Year, and I like having a fresh new block of time and with each passing year I have chosen to set goals, I've been able to look back on that year and most importantly, what set that particular one apart. 2015, the year I learned to run and completed a marathon, 2016 the year I pushed outside of my comfort zones with PBs in running and completing an endurance event with Ride100, and now 2017....

2017 is the year I want to train happy. I touched on this a bit in my honest review post for 2016 (click if you missed it) but in any kind of sport or training it's very easy to get caught up in pushing yourself to constantly do more, achieve better, run faster or be 'better'. That isn't to say that pushing ourselves isn't a good thing- I think we're all capable of more than we initially believe, but all too often that striving means seeking to correct a shortcoming- perceived or otherwise and choosing to overlook our positive achievements and qualities. For me personally, it lead to a long period of setting impossible targets and constantly berating myself for not being good enough.

May 2016 Running Review photo May 2016 running review_zpsdqwu8qur.jpg

So 2017. I'm running my first ever half marathon this spring- doing things in reverse a little bit because I have run a marathon before, but never the 13.1m distance. Previously I've started out training plans with ambitious time goals for new races and events but in a bid to settle in and enjoy running through central Cambridge on closed roads, I have found (and modified a touch to suit my schedule) a training plan that should see me strong enough to finish the distance and enjoy the day- for anyone interested, I rounded up some of my favourite training plans for beginners and those like me, transitioning to new distances (click if you missed it) including the plan I've based my own training on.

Outside of running, I've found new love in lifting. Strength training has been part of my routine ever since I first started running and making exercise a normal part of my life. But it's always been something more necessary than enjoyable. I recently started working with a new personal trainer and it's turned out to be exactly what I needed. A switch in approach had left me with a love for the 2-3 times per week I can get into the home-gym set up I currently have access to and doing what you love counts as training happy in my book.

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Eat, sleep, train, repeat

2017 is also the year of a new club. I've just signed on the line to join a UK Athletics affiliated running club based near my workplace. I know to some this might seem to counter the balance that removing unnecessary pressures that I'm more than capable of placing on myself but it does the opposite. My fellow runners are the first to congratulate me for my effort not just my attainment and that sports and exercise are a great way to bring amazing people into your life- some people you meet might inspire you, others who support you and some just make everything a bit brighter when it's -2 degrees, foggy and dark.

So that's me for 2017- nothing that is really quantifiable, no drastic speed or distance requirements, just a bit of joy and I hope some of that joy can be spread- training happy is very empowering and goodness knows we could all do with a bit of that right now.
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