So far 2017 has brought me to my knees (literally and figuratively) when it comes to long fartleks and long speed workouts. This year has brought many new challenges. Usually, I look at certain speed workouts as some of my oldest friends; now it seems that they are more of a frenemy. This struggle is nothing new for athletes. We all have our rough days, right? But what happens when the rough days seem more consistent and start to make you question your goals?
When this type of situation occurs, it is the perfect time for some deep introspection. Reassess your goals and yourself. If you feel your goals are completely realistic, then really take advantage of looking deeper within yourself. Focus on the purpose of the workout, and on how each step relates. We measure ourselves up to our competition and relate our success often to a result. We fuel ourselves with a purpose that is contingent on a time or distance. Take an easy day and remind yourself why you began this journey in the first place. This leads me to my next point…
Often when the days on the track aren’t going well, it is because there is something holding you back. Sure, sometimes you are just simply tired, but when we have days that are consistently rough and tough, it can wear down on us mentally. So when we have a block, we start to question our training. If you trust your training, then make sure you trust yourself. Those days that are difficult training, are the ones we need to build off of the most. There are plenty of days where I got through the workout, and I just smiled. There was a relief that I have the strength in me. Build yourself up from the simplistic joy of just being able to go out and train. Don’t let the results damper your day, just enjoy the literal journey of the trail.
So to all of those out there, struggling through the rainy days of spring, waiting for the warmer summer Rochester nights to come, embrace these hard moments. They not only make you stronger race day, they make you a better person. Those workouts push us, and let them push you to who ever you want to be.