WORDS OF GUIDANCE FOR ATHLETES AFFECTED BY THE SURF COAST CENTURY CANCELLATIONS.
Toes are tingling, we are playing hard and the body is beginning to edge towards pre-race sparkles. Then you check your email… Surf Coast Century is postponed until December 5?! Damn! Bummer!
I just want to be here, right now, and say – not to worry! We can catch this curve ball with both hands and use the pause in our training game to be even more fighting fit for Event Day in December. So, here are my suggestions…
Start with some R&R:
We now have 21 weeks until event day. Wow, that is 21 weeks where you can consolidate all the great playfulness & preparation that you have started. This is 5 months of joy and an event to look forward to as you kick-start Summer! However, Covid-19 has been stressful for all of us. We are bombarded by news, our work thrown into disarray, and for many of us life has felt foreign and at times, busy-busy! So, let’s take 3 weeks starting today to grab some extra R&Rs. Here is what I suggest these 3 weeks might look like – please keep it playful & rejuvenating!
Weeks 1 & 2
Mon: EASY - Yoga, walk or easy non-weight bearing cross-training
Tues: MOD - Easy run <60mins plus 15mins core strength work
Thurs: EASY - Gentle jog with some yoga or 30mins core strength work
Fri: MOD - Longer walk
Sat: HARD - Longer Run <90mins
Mon: EASY - Yoga or walk
Tues: MOD - Jog <45mins
Wed: EASY - Rest, walk or yoga
Thurs: Easy run <60mins
Fri: REST - Rest
Sat: Mission – up to 4hrs in length & make it mighty joyful!
Sun: REST (tomorrow you will return to training)
Return to Base Training mode:
Following these 3 weeks of recuperation, and no matter how fit and strong you are feeling, I strongly encourage you to return to Base Training mode for 6 weeks, ending 13 September. That is, focus on consolidating your aerobic development through:
If you need a more specific outline for your training, I suggest you return to weeks 4 – 9 of my Trail Running Training Programs that many of you are already following to guide your Surf Coast Century Event preparations:
All of this training can be done solo and from your home. The added beauty of this is that no matter how great your base fitness is, it can always be refined and enhanced. Any opportunity you get to return and consolidate your aerobic fitness is a godsend! Consider this, an Olympic athlete takes 4 years to prepare for their event at the Olympic Games!
I write more about aerobic base training ideas in my Trail Running Guidebook. You will also find that returning to the very beginning of one of my Trail Running Training Planners is not stepping backwards, but rather adding to the process of consolidation.
Return to your training:
You will be oh-so ready to return to training following these 9 weeks of R&R followed by consolidation of your Base Training! So, on 14 September I would recommend picking up the Training Planners on Week 13, which means you will have 12 weeks of training to go. This will relaunch you back into a more specific phase of training and ensure you get plenty more longer missions into your tank that you can use for practicing your Event Day strategies.
Training isn’t everything!It is without a doubt that we want to be as prepared as we can for the Surf Coast Events. But this doesn’t mean training more and more and more. It is especially important to recognise that we live in turbulent times, filled with uncertainty and plenty of hidden stressors, both good and those that are not-so-good. So here are some further suggestions that I have for you.
Find quietness and playfulness amongst the ‘outside’ noise:
We are living in such a news-filled, social media-fuelled frenzy right now. But unless you have actually been ordered to quarantine I strongly suggest you keep finding quietness and playfulness outdoors. I personally suggest doing this early in the morning, when the day is at its most calm. Afterwards you will be ready to tackle anything that is thrown at you in the day! Here is what I suggest:
Still go for Missions!
Despite what I just said, be prepared to adapt the training to suit your humanness. If the world gets too fast-paced or you are simply just needing some out time… then do it! However, don’t miss out on the greatest joy of all – the Mission! If you need to get some extra rest & recuperation then do this in a way that helps you fill up your energy tank for the missions every 3 weeks. You may even want to incorporate a few extra shorter Missions to help you stay sane. Head out alone or with a friend. If you are alone this is either a time to enjoy the tranquillity or listen to podcasts, such as my Find Your Feet Podcast. If you are heading out solo, perhaps consider investing in a Garmin InReach Mini like I have been using on my own solo missions. If you are interested in this great safety device you can discuss this with me or my Team at Find Your Feet.
Maintain your strength at home:
Whilst most gyms have reopened around Australia, in Victoria our friends are copping the full force of another lock down. Not having access to a gym does not mean we need to lose our strength. In fact, if you are going to increase your running and walking loads as race day nears, it will be important to ensure these muscles are fully activated and strengthened to cope. Here are some of the exercises that I utilise into a 15-20min circuit. I love to do this workout prior to my morning harder or longer runs (ie. 2-3 days per week). You will need to pick 4-6 exercises from the list below and combine into a circuit (one to the next to the next…). I repeat the circuit 3 times or to fatigue.
Use walking or cycling as your cross-training:
If you need to recharge but you want some fresh air and movement then there is honestly nothing better than a solid, long walk or bike ride for cross-training. So, grab your walking shoes or dust off your bike and find solitude in these activities on your easy days (or at the end of your hard day as an unwind activity after work).
There are so, so many YouTube options for doing yoga at home. I love to do a short 20-30min yoga workout in an evening, or even in the middle of the night if I am too awake and cannot sleep. I would start finding your favourite workouts on YouTube. I am also loving @Aaron Schultz Yoga on Facebook
Mindfulness & Meditation:
I am not the individual who can crawl out of bed and sit still straight away. For me, the mornings are for playfulness and movement. However, I still fully believe in the importance of meditation, especially in these times of such chaotic news messages. I have a few methods that I utilise:
In real lockdown? You can run on a treadmill:
Yes, it might be unpleasant but you can absolutely still exercise on a treadmill if you have one. I personally always put a treadmill at an incline of >2% and begin slowly until my core muscles begin to activate. Aim for sessions that are shorter in duration but higher in quality, such as your tempo runs or longer aerobic intervals. I write more about aerobic training ideas in my Trail Running Guidebook.
Get yourself equipped for winter & solo running:
Here are the items that I personally use for my winter running and personal safety, especially on the longer missions.
If you need any further assistance, I am here to help! Visit my website for lots of inspiration, tips, advice and my training planners: www.hannyallston.com.au
If you need further advice with your equipment or apparel for winter, my Team at Find Your Feet would love to help – www.findyourfeet.com.au All athletes in the Surf Coast Century events receive a 20% discount at my Find Your Feet stores by using the Discount Code: SurfCoastCentury
Finally, I also thank you for your support during this challenging time! It is now that we need to support one another even more.
Keep striving to play wilder. I look forward to meeting you all at the Surf Coast Century in December!
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