Why Races Derail My Fitness Goals
Some fun facts for you: I have ran 3 half marathons, 1 marathon, and completed 1 triathlon.
Now let me tell you a story about my full marathon that I trained for and ran/completed. I had 9-10 weeks of training before the race from when I decided to sign up. Very impromptu, but my friend was running and I wanted to do it with someone - since it’s an event I have never completed before. So I trained hard, pushed myself to follow the running schedule - but working full-time and training for a marathon really sucks the life out of your life. My life for 2ish months revolved around eating, running, eating and eating. Ultimately with my training, I injured my hip which caused me to rest/ice for 1.5 weeks prior to the race. I ran the race taped up and experienced extreme heat advisories for the 6 hours it took me to run it. By the final 3 miles I was on the brink of tears and the last mile I cried the whole time (those photos are not pretty). But I completed it- HUGE feat… but major problem. I lost ALL of my motivation to run, train, or even go to the gym.
So yes, this was a HUGE feat - but what about the small goal of sticking to my weekly workout plan consistently? Isn’t that something I should celebrate too, even at such a smaller scale? Here are some things that I have found that help me stay on track even after the event is done and that I've actually implemented! Since I recently participated in the Superior Man Triathlon (that I signed up for two years ago...) anyways...
How can you keep your fitness routine relatively the same while training?
The SWEAT app and PWR workout by Kelsey Wells has been my routine for about 8 weeks now. To stop this routine and start training for my triathlon didn’t really work.. I didn’t want to repeat my narrow-minded focus on the race-goal, instead now with the PWR routine- I have a mix of weights and then cardio. My cardio days I decided to incorporate my triathlon training (bike/run training). So since completing my triathlon, I’ve maintained going to the gym every morning and keeping up with the workout routine.
What is your post-race plan?
After my triathlon I had a goal of giving myself one day “off” and then the second day would be easy cardio, and then back onto my weightlifting routine. So when you are done with the race, how many days of recovery are you needing? If you can plan out what the after-race will look like, then you can continue to be successful.
How do you fuel your body while working out?
Let me flash back to the marathon again, I was expending so many calories that I couldn’t ever feel full. So in order for me to feel satisfied, I ate a lot of carbs - pancakes, breads, etc. Which you need to fuel your body when you’re putting in 16 miles in one day.. BUT I lost 0 pounds (I think) while training. Fast forward 3 years - I am feeling great, eating healthy and slowly loosing weight. Food is so important when training and to fuel your body. Finding time to meal-prep is key and planning for the afternoon snack with a healthy option only aides in your success.
Maybe someday I will complete another marathon or another half. But I’m going to approach it differently than I have in the past to ensure that my personal fitness goals are staying top of mind. Until then, I’ll just be continuing my workouts and feeling good about my body and what I have all accomplished no matter how big or small.