Aug 28, 2008

Trust. It is harder than you think.

I know that part of following a schedule or plan is following it as close to 100% as possible, not only just when it suits me. Well, another part of following a plan is trusting in that plan. If you felt compelled to search out a training plan to help you achieve your goals - be it finishing a certain distance, finishing that distance in a certain time, or just maintaining what you already have, you picked that plan for a particular reason. That reason is that the plan should work.

Well, plans only work as good as we work the plans. You get a personal trainer, but it is still you doing the work - the trainer is giving you the tools. At the end of the day the personal trainer cannot make you workout, likewise at the end of the day just having a plan will not guarantee success. You are the deciding factor to all of this.

Part of following a plan is trusting that the plan we have selected is the one for us and will indeed give us the tools and untimately the roadmap to get to our destination. All good plans have workouts, rest days, and some even go the extra mile of providing a "mental athlete" plan as well - I like these because they address the mental aspects of training such as balancing multiple things at once like work deadlines, family emergencies, child care and getting in some personal non-training time all in ADDITION to training.

That is one tall order!

A good portion of following said plan is knowing that the plan is your roadmap to the ultimate destination. It cannot predict traffic along the way, nor can it predict roadblocks. It is up to us to know that sometimes we have to take a detour to stay on track. That correlates to knowing when to let go of a workout should something come up.

I am just now, in all of my 5 years of running, realizing that if I miss a workout or two in a week, trying to cram them in on rest days or before other workouts makes the whole process seem so... laborous. And when things become laborous, don't they seem more like a job than fun? And if things become more like work - you can get discouraged, burnt out, and walk away from the activity all together. Heh. Welcome to literally every single year of my life since 2003.

This past year I have realized a real joy in letting go.

A real joy in being flexible.

A real joy in being able to say yes or no to any given thing that I do.

In this world of chaos and instability, I have learned to embrace those real joys more and more each day. You cannot control every aspect in life, so why think that you can control every aspect in training? That attitude will lead you right to discouragement and frustration. And that is a dark and lonely place.

So with the addition of the realization that going slow is OK... I also have realized that taking rest days isn't optional. It is mandatory. Add to that the new found freedom in being able to let a workout go instead of trying to cram it in somewhere *cough*rest days*cough*, or being flexible enough to rearrange the schedule without sacrificing rebuilding and regeneration... you have fun again.

I have changed my language in training. I no longer say what I HAVE to do. Quite simply I do not have to do any of this. I do not get paid for this, so technically the only negative to not doing all of this is purely personal, affecting only me.

I leave you with this thought today, because it is a cross training rest day - and I needed to remind myself that rest is not slacking. Rest is building!

If you find yourself in a rut - start to take mental note of how you are approaching your schedule in life. Are you looking at your training as have to's and work? Or are you looking at your training as want to's, able to's, and fun?

Sometimes changing the point of view can give you a whole new outlook.

Trusting in her plan more and more each day - })i({RunnerGirl


Pope Corky IX said...

Thanks for the tips on the AZ run--did you do it with Team in Training?

chia said...

Amen sista! It's really hard in these days winding down to the race to start feeling guilty about rest days. I like that... it's not just resting, it's building. Thanks girl!

Anonymous said...

you are so right.
Im a newbie runner but OLDBIE weight trainer and it took me ages to realize I GREW on the rest days.
when I lifted too often I simply went backwards----NOT MY GOAL.

Adam said...

Well said.

Lily on the Road said...

so, so true, we all need our Rest your body & mind time to regroup, repair and rebuild...

L*I*S*A said...

Yep, you gotta trust in the plan.