The struggle is real

Setting out a fitness plan is great and provides goals to aim for. I decided to split mine in to a month by month structure with small targets to improve each time. The planning phase is easy, motivation to complete it all is a different story.

The first couple of weeks were really positive and I found that I was sticking to the plan avidly, hitting a few new highs and PBs with different workouts. The second half of this month has been much more challenging.

Work commitments and a small amount of illness have hampered the amount of time I have spent out on the roads/trails and has reduced the mileage covered. When I was planning, I knew that this would happen at some point and will probably occur again in the coming months. My plan involves a fairly high amount of activities with some days having double workouts. I’ve found myself (obviously!) feeling really tired in the mornings and the early runs haven’t been as frequent as they were. This all culminated in an awful run yesterday – I’m aware that stats from it would not appear to be that bad, 4.3 miles in 39 minutes is still a fairly good pace to run at, however I did not enjoy it at all. I rarely stop while I’m running but yesterday I had to pause a number of times due to a lack of breathing rhythm and an inconsistent pace. It then resulted in me sacking off the gym which I had planned to do afterwards because I still felt crappy.

I’m currently in a low about it all, aching and pissed off with the lack of motivation but I need to look at the positives from this month and also the past couple of weeks. I managed to set a new PB last week over the 5km distance with my dog which I felt great about (that had a part to play in why I couldn’t get up early the next day!) I’m also currently on 87 miles for this month – my target was 100km and I’m on course to hit 100 miles before the end of the month which is my target for March. I held a plank for 2 mins 30 seconds so I’m really close to the 3 minute goal. I’ve managed 5 unassisted pull ups in a gym session and have been increasing the weight on the bench press.

Simply put, it’s currently a massive struggle, work gets in the way, fatigue and tiredness play a part but I’ve already worked my way towards a lot of my targets. Bootcamp this morning and a longer run tomorrow will take me over 100 miles for the month and it’s looking positive overall. I knew there would be difficult moments but I’ve realised now that you need to just take a step back, review progress and keep going if you can. Enforced days off are not a bad thing and can then result in better runs the next day (the 5km PB being proof of that)

There’s half a week left of this month and the focus then shifts slightly and the intensity of some of the activities is due to increase, it gives me the chance to push on further towards some of the goals that I have set. I’ve also got my first race of the year, the London Winter 10k for Cancer Research next weekend which should be a great event again. With Tough Mudder announcing the new obstacles for this year, I’ve now got another chance to review my plan to ensure that I can cope with the demands of this physicality of these and will look at them in a later blog post.

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