In the wake of my 2nd marathon, I took a whole ten days off. I mean totally off. I didn’t cross train, I didn’t ride my bike to the grocery store when we ran out of milk, and I didn’t do a single sit-up. It felt fabulous. Perhaps best of all, I didn’t really gain any weight like I had anticipated. All throughout marathon training I’d heard runners complain about packing on the pounds during intense training, and while I was pleasantly pleased to find this was not the case with me, I was fully prepared for the return of the bulge once my activity level came back down.
As I said, that first week I fared pretty well, but then the Christmas cookies started arriving at the office. And the cookies were quickly followed by Christmas truffles, and since my policy is to never say no to sweets, it was soon time to say so long to sedentary life! That second week I hit the gym with full intentions to get back into the swing of things. I left that first day feeling great and talking about how much I’d missed working out, but somehow that didn’t translate into me returning to the gym that week. Whoops.
A full seven days later I hit the treadmill again, only this time I had a plan. Without races lined up to keep me excited and enthusiastic about the gym I, like most folks I’d assume, tend to slack off a bit. Ok, more than a bit. Step one of my plan was to come up with a workout schedule much like I would use during training. There are modifications of course: no weekly mileage higher than 23, and no significant distances or distance increases since I’m not planning on running another distance race until May. This plan* is all about maintenance. Well, not ALL about maintenance. You’ve got to have a goal to strive for or there’s really no point, right? My new goal for this winter is speed. You see, a few weeks ago on The Biggest Loser, Ada ran a mile in 7:34. Kirk looked at me with his eyebrows raised as if to say, “Dude, she’s got 65lbs on you. Why can’t you run a mile in 7:34?”. Well, I showed him! I went out the next day and ran a mile in 7:30! But you can’t stop there right? So, I set up my winter training plan with speed intervals, tempo runs and decidedly faster paces overall. Hopefully, come spring, I’ll have morphed from the Energizer bunny and into a jack rabbit.
Step two of my plan involved accountability. Without the fear of not being able to finish or set a PR at a race, I needed something external to keep me on track. Enter Coach Coworker. Actually, I call him Coach Bob, but to all of you Coach Coworker probably makes more sense. I picked Bob because it’s not in his nature let me slide on anything–especially running, and he actually used to run marathons before a bum hip decided that wasn’t in his future anymore. So, Coach now has my training plan tacked on the wall in his office down the hall, and each morning he stops me and inquires as to whether I did my workout–usually in front of everyone. And, as I’m not about to lose face in front of all of my work peeps (how could I? I can’t even stand losing to Ada who doesn’t know me from Adam?), I’m pretty confident that I’ll be able to stick to it. I’ll let you know how it goes!
What are your tactics to stay on track this winter?
*You can find my plan for this winter posted to my Training page, or click here: Winter Training 2010