I’ve been writing a decent amount recently about training motivation. If you’re understandably tired of the topic, feel free to skip this post. If not, read on!
My current belief structure is that motivation (or lack thereof) is our subconscious’ way of telling us when it’s time to ramp up/down our training volume. Wanna hit that snooze button for the third time? Do it. Feel like adding an extra 3 miles to your weekday run? Game on! Conventional wisdom is that you’re supposed to listen to your body as you train. Well, your mind is part of your body, too. If it doesn’t want to do a workout, maybe you should listen to it also.
My motivation has been on a steady rise for the past couple weeks. It started with getting up on time and not cutting any of my runs short. It then built into me adding an extra mile to a run every now and again. This week it morphed into cutting out one of my two weekly rest days where I only do a mile to keep my run streak going. This was a big step for me. There might be only a couple weeks a year where I don’t have at least two 1 mile days. Not so much because I feel like I desperately need them. It’s almost more a force of habit at this point.
The short nature of this training cycle is also helping with my motivation. I only have 9 weeks between races so between recovery and taper, there’s not much time for actual training. It’s easier to get psyched to knock out a 2-3 week increase in volume than it is to be staring at a 4 month build up. And thankfully I don’t have to do that anymore. Between my lifetime mileage (rapidly approaching 20,000 miles) and the number of ultras I’ve already done (40+), I don’t really need to get into shape. I’m always in shape to complete an ultra. So these little training blocks are really about tuning up rather than training up. And their brevity helps me stay on track and execute them.
Overall, I’ve got good momentum right now with my running cycling up and down. I’ll do a race followed by couple week recovery followed by a short training block. Then a quick “taper” and I’m off for another race. It’s a nice groove I’ve got myself into. I’m not exactly sure where this will take me leading up to Capital Backyard Ultra at the end of the month. Maybe more hill repeats. Possibly some extra core work. Who knows? Maybe I’ll add a couple miles to my 20 miler this weekend. Hahaha. Well, let’s not get crazy.