Rule #7. Your inner Mary Poppins.

Photo Credit: David Belshaw


In every job that must be done there is an element of fun, you find the fun and snap, the job’s a game.

During the past week or so, my training has been hard. My legs felt heavy. My quads complained. I woke to aching muscles. I had a niggle in my hamstring. I had  day of almost-illness which wiped me out and left me wondering if I had fallen into the trap of over training. My runs were sluggish and off pace. My swims felt like I  was churning up the pool.

The thing is every now and then your body doesn’t want to cooperate. Sick kids pass on germs. A busy lifestyle means you are tired before you even put your kit on. Sometimes you need to rest for a bit. Sensible. Sometimes you need to put up and shut up, because hey, this is life.

What I’m describing isn’t a lack of mojo. My brain was very much still on script, dreaming up routes for long runs and talking myself into entering ultra races that I haven’t got the time to train for. No, this is basically circumstances and fatigue. Which sucks. It’s horrible setting off on a run that you’ve been looking forward to all day and finding there’s no petrol in the tank.

How do I combat this? By putting a spoonful of sugar into my training. Training with friends, choosing gloriously scenic routes, setting off with my backpack and meandering along country lanes, choosing the route as I go, exploring new places, running with my dog in the morning sunshine. Anything that makes me happy.

And every task you undertake becomes a piece of cake, a lark, a spree, it’s very clear to see…
So I’ve completed the first 4 weeks of The Plan. An Ironman distance 2.4 mile swim is now my standard and the base I will be building on. I’ve covered the 22 miles of a cross Channel swim in January and am feeling stronger for it. I’m running well and my long runs have been the highlights of my week. My bike is enjoying semi-hibernation.

There will always be highs and lows in a season of training. I’m going to be ploughing through this till July so peaks and troughs are inevitable. Some sessions are going to be difficult but I am a firm believer that training should be pleasant. Why do it otherwise?  It’s handy to have strategem for brightening up the tough days.

A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.

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