I'm adding in a little mental training aspect this year. I have a few books I'm using to help guide this process, along with recalling some particular research and theories from my Sports Psychology class in graduate school at the University of Texas. The first book I'm browsing is Peak Performance by Dr. Charles A. Garfield. The first technique described is clustering. So far, I've completed the first step of taking 1-2 peak performance situations in my particular sport of running, and doing a flow chart or cluster of my memories of the event. How did I feel? What did I think about? What helped me feel strong? I chose to write about my first time to break the tape in a 5k this past March, and last year's Jack and Jill race.
I've already noticed some of the benefits of this exercise. One is that having identified the things that were present or I thought about during my "exceptional" runs, helps me to keep those at the front of my mind for current races, and during training runs to keep the intensity level high.
It's interesting to me to notice the differences between the 5k flow and my marathon flow. You can see how much I've changed as a runner (and possibly how much I don't remember from 8 months ago - I wrote the marathon flow chart recently). The next step is to notice trends in what motivates me and is present across events that go really well. Then, I'll try to draw on those common points in runs and races more often. I'm really excited about this component of training and plan to do a little cluster after each race, and particularly wonderful training runs (although those are as rare as unicorns in the wild).
I feel surprisingly good considering I ran the farthest distance since July of 2017 on Sunday. And, my mojo and energy seem to be back. Last week was strange and defeating, but I trudged through and knew I'd see the other side eventually.
I completed the FitCamp week 3 day 1 workout in the 7am class at our studio this morning. I'm still using 25s for legs but have dropped to 15s for my arms. I want to eliminate some muscle mass, without losing strength in my legs.
Then, later in the afternoon, after a visit to Dr. B at Longevity Effect for an adjustment and some B-12, I did my 20 (twenty miler this weekend what?!) x 30 second sprints on the rower. I like to do the rower on days after long runs to help my joints. Even though they felt great today! I also practiced some pullups just for the hell of it.
Last day of April and I covered 105.9 miles this month! It's definitely marathon season :)