Doldrums

imageIt’s over a month since Brighton Marathon. The weeks of training; the early morning runs in the dark; the nervous anticipation about the race; the self doubt and concerns about my ability to do 26.2 miles have all gone. My fundraising target for East Anglian Air Ambulance has been beaten (you can still donate though, people!). I should be feeling pleased with myself. But I’m not. I’m actually feeling pretty grumpy with myself right now. The satisfied glow of achievement has waned and I’ve entered the doldrums.

The doldrums is a maritime term referring to the atmospheric characteristics near the equator that produce predominantly calm winds. These winds (or lack thereof) have trapped many a sail powered craft over the years. Colloquially, the doldrums are a state of inactivity, a mild depression, listlessness, or stagnation.

Despite the fact that tri season has just started and I have a half iron distance triathlon challenge to do in not very many weeks time, I’m feeling a bit demotivated.

For my marathon training, I dropped all other training and focussed solely on running. I was following a plan I downloaded from the London Marathon website which was really easy to follow. It practically ran itself. For the Holkham Outlaw Half, I’ve been trying to follow a plan from Don Fink’s very good book “Iron Fit Secrets for half iron distance triathlon success”. The plan and the science behind it all seems sensible, but sadly the reality of it is that I have to shuffle all the elements of the plan so drastically to make it fit my week that it scarcely resembles the same plan anymore. I’m also finding that I’m not doing the necessary time on the bike as there is other stuff to be done at the weekend and getting out on three hour rides is just difficult to do.

In in the last couple of weeks, I’ve not done the miles on the bike I need to do. I’ve not made it to Open Water Swimming. I’ve cramped in the pool so badly the residual muscle soreness lasted for five days. I’ve run, but not enough. It’s frustrating and de-motivating in equal measure. Even my blog has been neglected! My own negative perception of my lack of “quality” training is self fulfilling. I think my training is crap, so it becomes crap.

Turning all this negative to positive is what is needed and proactive steps are required.

To test myself and my level of “preparedness” for Holkham, I’m joining a number of my Tri-Anglia colleagues in “The Broadsman”. The Broadsman is a relaxed half iron distance training event for Tri-Anglia members. I’m looking to prove to myself that I CAN do the distance. It won’t be quick, but I’ll give it a go.

I’ve had a session with a coach in an endless pool this week which gave me some things to think about to help develop my “fight the water like Schwarzenegger fights the Predator” swim technique.

I also want to get some other race entries in to help boost my motivation.

Hopefully that will put some wind back in my sails.

I will be running Holkham Outlaw Half for the East Anglian Air Ambulance. If you’d like to make a donation, please click HERE

 

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