This is the question I have found myself asking as I enter the latter end of 2016. All my races have been completed, so what do I do next? I had this conversation with my Sports Therapist this week as I saw her for a much needed massage and assessment on how my legs had coped with the stress and madness of the last month. It was quite a relief to be able to talk openly about this, a full uninterrupted hour of conversation with someone who essentially has no choice but to listen! It’s something which is extremely rare in my life and is like double the therapy!
My next aim will undoubtedly be a spring marathon, but training for this will not start until late December at the earliest. So what should I do in these next two or so months? Take a rest? Yes I could do, but what the hell would I do!? Running and exercise is a massive part of my life, and as I rather sadly admitted to my therapist, I do not really have much else to focus on! I also want to maintain a good level of fitness during these next months, which leads to another dilemma - how much to do? Too much and surely I risk the chance of over training and burning out? I am conscious I have run a lot of miles this year, two marathon training cycles plus everything else on top. So the last thing I want is to enter 2017 feeling jaded before I even start. I mean I could go out and run 18/20 miles, nothing is stopping me (although my legs might complain a bit!); but as much as I love running do I have the motivation to do that? What would I even gain from doing that? It’s a difficult balance to strike.
Thankfully as I spilled out all these questions, queries, dilemmas and ideas, my therapist listened and reassured me I was not alone in feeling like this and lots of clients she sees suffer this same kind of feeling of being ‘lost’ after a big event or training period is complete. I felt extremely lost after the Manchester Marathon earlier this year, a dip that affected me quite a lot and something I didn’t really talk about or acknowledge until I sat and wrote a blog about how I had been feeling. I promised myself I would never get that low again, so keeping positive is a large focus for the next couple of months.
Over the forthcoming weeks I know I want to maintain happiness, keep focus, and keep fit and healthy, and the thing which will help me achieve these aims is running and exercise. I will cut back on miles obviously and intend to do some different types of cross training. I will aim to run a minimum of twenty to twenty five miles a week, but I am going to take the pressure of my pace; if I feel like running easy I will and likewise if I fancy pushing myself a bit I will not hold back. I am not an athlete, I don’t run just to compete in races or chase PBs, so I will take running back to its pure enjoyment purposes. I will have days where I feel lost (I have already experienced them), I don’t think I will ever avoid this, but I refuse to let them dominate.
So, in answer to the question - what next? The answer is, of course, running!
Alice's Adventures In Running Land
Read about my adventures in running land...