Semper Currens V: Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Week Four Training Wrap-Up

Hard to believe, but I’m now a quarter of the way through the program and through the first really tough week. The one big negative of the week was a disastrous tempo run that I’ll talk about later in this blog. On the plus side, I managed to negotiate the jump in mileage and move to 6 sessions a week fairly well. I’ve also been able to deal with the weather, which was brutally hot at the beginning of the week, and get in two successful longer runs and a very successful interval run. So a good week overall.

The Week Ahead

This week looks like a repeat of last week–six days of running, tempo and interval runs on Tuesday and Thursday, and a 10-mile long run scheduled for the weekend. Total mileage will be around 40 for the next couple of weeks before the last big push that will see me stay in the 50-mile/week range for the second half of the program.

Feature o’ the Week: Dealing with a Training Fail

Tuesday night’s tempo run–the first hard run of the program–was a bit of a reality check. It began brightly enough on the East Shore Trail at Onondaga Lake Park, where a little shade and a nice breeze counteracted the hot and humid conditions. But I went out way too fast, crushing the first half of the run with an 8 min/mile pace that felt progressively more uncomfortable and unsustainable. I begged my body to slow down, but it stubbornly refused to do so. After the turn, I hit a wall and couldn’t break through it mentally. So I walked, then ran, then alternated all the way back to the trail head.

Over the last two miles, I found myself drifting back to the negative self talk that I have written about before, but after I cooled down and headed back home, I realized that I was being way too hard on myself. This was, after all, my first really intense week, and I could not be expected to deliver the kind of performance that I will later in the program and on race day. There’s a reason we train!

So I came up with three takeaways for the week that we would all do well to hold on to in the weeks to come.

  1. Training is learning. Viewed that way, this session was a success, in that I have an opportunity to reflect on what went wrong (the heat, overall fatigue and inadequate nutrition were the probable causes this time around) and can start to deal with the problems.
  2. Training is best judged by physical effort. While I didn’t get the time I wanted for the tempo run, I know I gave it my best effort. That will serve me well in training. I can worry about results on the day.
  3. Training is mental. Overcoming adversity now, and moving on from setbacks without viewing them negatively, is important for the whole program and will pay dividends on race day.

Team Fox Update

Despite my first Facebook appeal late last week, no new donations appeared this week. So give me a boost by going to my fundraising page and making your gift today!

How do you deal with a setback in training? Leave a comment here, and I’ll feature it in the next Semper Currens.

About Bruce Pegg

I write about running, music and spirituality.
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