Reflections On Running #13: Training Problems

Josh Puttock explains how signing up to a race can add intensity and focus to training

Tired Athlete Man FrustratedOkay, so I really need to sign up to a race. Over the past few months I’ve been suffering with a severe case of running boredom. This, in my situation, is where running gets shoved to the back of your priority list because you have nothing to train for. Yeah, you know the one.

It seems all my effort and focus is aimed towards everything but running. I’m not necessarily keeping to a plan, and I’m lacing up my trainers less and less. It’s as though I’m stuck in a race-less period of aimless shuffling. It’s the worst. I’m drifting through the motions and, rather worryingly, I know why.

But what are the perks? Well my girlfriend gets to see a bit more of me, as do the family. The car’s been getting a good clean, too. And I’ve been spending a lot more time trying to improve my mediocre squash skills (the back-hand is really coming along, by the way). Not to mention my Netflix viewing time has increased massively.

Anyway, you see where I’m going with this. My training has worsened, and it’s because I have let it do so. Without a race to prep for, I haven’t set myself a target and I’ve found other ways to spend my time. Two good runs a week – alongside a few sports – have kept me going, but does that really count as training?

It’s fair to say I put a lot more in when I’m building up to something. And I know I’m not alone in thinking this, either. Barring the tricky weekly online BBC news quiz, there’s no test quite like a race. And when I know my body is going to be pushed to the very maximum, that’s when I feel a need to step things up.

So as I write this, I now know there’s no hiding. I’ve identified the problem, and to a certain extent the solution. I need to find a race. It’s time to rid myself of this running boredom. It’s time to head to Google, sign up to an event and bring some intensity back to my running.

Just one more episode of House of Cards won’t hurt, though.

Written by Josh Puttock | 70 articles | View profile

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