After my ultramarathon on April 18th there hasn’t been a whole lot of fitness or adventures happening due to COVID-19. The good news is that the country is slowly starting to open back up and I hope activities will soon return to some semblance of normal. In the meantime, the month or so since my 50K has given me time to reflect on where I am physically and what I’d like to pursue next.
One of the things that really irked me at the end of the ultra training cycle was how running, an activity I ordinarily enjoy, was starting to wear thin. I just didn’t feel as into it anymore and after some research (aka Googling), this is totally normal for distance runners. We spend months increasing our endurance to the point that we’re running 40+ miles in a week all in the hopes of setting a new Personal Record (PR). For me the struggle was as much mental as physical. This training cycle I did not have a lot of variation in my runs – it was either a medium distance run (4-10 miles) or a long run (13-20 miles) and both types tended to feel the same effort wise. The monotony of the activity is what ultimately has driven me to only record two runs since the race.
In order to combat this mental fatigue and get back to enjoying the activity that helped me through some of my lowest points in the last 5 years, I have determined to push my speed instead of distance for the next 6 weeks. I am attempting to run a sub 20 minute 5K! Having learned the lesson from my ultra training, I’ll be incorporating more variations in my training. There will be speed work, hills, long runs, trail runs, and yoga galore. No similar workout will be performed back to back and I am going to embrace the variance knowing that it’ll help me be happier and go faster. At the start of this new goal, my current 5K time is around 23:30 and, while I hope shaving three and a half minutes from my time will be relatively easy, I suspect it’s going to be a whole new form of struggle and I am looking forward to attacking it!
I’ll be shooting for weekly posts as I begin my new training cycle on May 25th! Wish me luck and get outside for some fresh air!