What would Sir Mo do?

Thought for the day – whilst out on my run.

  • Number of times I have run: 500+
  • Number of miles run 2500+
  • Number of times my body has completely failed me: <10
  • Number of times my mind has completely failed me: >100
  • Number of times my mind told me my body was going to completely fail me 500+

No prizes for spotting the root cause of my issue!

Things no successful athlete said – ever.

My training has been fun! – It has been focussed and committed.

That race was easy! – That race was tough I respected my opponents and pushed as hard as I could.

It is all about striking a balance. Of course Listen to your head. But be prepared to challenge what it is telling you. Educate it and get it onboard with pushing yourself when you need to.

Today’s run. 3.1miles at 8:46min mile pace

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Help yourself

I have been considering wether one of the reasons I consistently fail to achieve my goals is because I push too hard too soon, treat myself too often or I am just not consistent enough in my training. All things that really are within my own sphere of influence.

One solution is to engage a coach to push me that bit further. Ideally a person who understands my goals and can help me make good choices, keeping me on track and not allowing overindulgence or training mistakes to creep in.  

Whilst a coach is nice in theory, I am not sure I have quite the athletic ability or income to justify the expense. But what if the solution is staring me right in the face. – become my own coach. 

Now I know that sounds a bit strange – surely we all coach ourselves every day. Bear with me with me here and I will explain.

I am talking about a more conscious visualisation of a separation between mind (coach) and body (athlete) to achieve my goals. 

As a coach you need to have a clear understanding of the athletes goals and make sure your athlete knows what is ok and what will damage their chances of success. Then work hard to keep them on track.

A coach has to constantly educate the athlete and ensure each choice they make is internalised and challenged before action is taken. 

Do you need that treat, are you really tired, can you push harder?
Some simple areas I have failed to control personally are as follows; 

– Food

– Sleep

– Alcohol

– When to push and when to rest

– Consistency of training

Now I have to ask myself – if I was in control of the training and lifestyle choices of a ‘proper athlete’, would I let them drink more than is healthy, go to bed late, put on weight and in good conscience still be able say they were doing everything possible to achieve their goals and moreover that I was excelling as a coach?

No of course not – I would challenge them to make sacrifices to achieve their goals. To be strict and focussed. 

I would work hard to recognise when they are slacking, but equally hard to recognise when they are pushing too hard. 

And if I would do all this for someone else, surely I should be doing this for myself!

The ultimate goal is to have my inner coach and athlete coming together in synergy to achieve all my goals for this year and beyond! – not letting my automatic (lazy) choices sabotage all of the hard work I do. 

How do other people keep themselves motivated and on track?

The mind is a powerful thing, it knows what it wants and can be extremely self serving in gaining those things. Society’s behaviour shows that we need to consciously work harder to put others first – looking after your body is an extension that: and what should be the constant urge to nurture. 

Baseline

Part of knowing what I want to acheieve with my running is about exploring where I have been and where I currently stand (and being honest with myself)

Some of my old PB’s are distant memories. 1:38hm, 42min10k and 20min 5k just isn’t achievable in my current state.

I have piled on the pounds since my marathon in 2016 and even at that point I was not at the peak of my powers. My weight is now an issue for my running and even the shortest runs result in a level muscle soreness I have never experienced in the past.

Fortunately I know the answer. Clean up my diet and run more miles. This approach may even see me rid myself of some other side effects of inactivity such as snoring, lethargy and periods of feeling excessively stressed.

So all in all a lot to gain and a lot to lose (in a good way too) I will track my progress here for anyone who is interested to find out what a 38year old with some determination is capable of achieving. 

Current Hm time – none existent. Current 10k time – 55mins      Current 5k time – 24mins

Weight 13stone 2lbs

Gotta start somewhere. Caveat – I am aware this is not heavy in comparison to some. But for me it is quite a gain and any loss will be a happy side effect of training hard and improving my times – which is my main goal here!

If I stay the same and get fitter, healthier and faster, well that’s fine too!

Where to start?

The easiest answer is of course. You can only start from where you are!

My aim is a ground up assault on my body. Ankles and calves have historically been an extremely weak spot for me so this week has seen me doing body weight calf raises. 

This exercise is great for building some foundational strength before you subject your legs to an ever increasing number of miles. 

My ground up approach is underpinned by an incrementally increasing number of miles complimented by some body weight strength conditioning. 

Nothing fancy just some lunges, push ups, pull ups, dips etc, ab wheel rollouts. Just enough to keep the core strong and able to cope with the punishment.

Enough is enough

You can think about it, put it off, plan. But eventually the day comes when you just have to say enough is enough and knuckle down to business. 

That day is today. No more messing. I am back in the game. Building from the ground up to be better than ever. Lewis 2.0

Two 10k’s booked before the end of the year. 

One Half marathon booked next March 18. 

And a hell of a lot of work to do. 👊

30 in 30 – Day 15

I have been absolutely terrible at documenting my 30 in 30 attempt. But…… I have been great at running it!

Every day it seems to be getting a little easier in a number of ways. The effort required to get up and get out is dropping through the floor. My energy levels are going through the roof.

Rather than failing to deliver a blow by blow report each day, I will just include my Strava link below for anyone who is interested in the cold hard stats.

At the heart of this is lots of low heart rate runs, over an increasing number of miles with the aim of building up to the golden 40 miles a week mark. Once I hit that small but important milestone, I will be throwing in some speed work to sharpen my edge.

https://www.strava.com/athletes/1188398/training/log