As part of my masters at University, I wrote a children’s picture book based on the story of Kathrine Switzer. She was the first woman to ever officially run the Boston Marathon. At that time, it was unheard of that a woman would run a race, let alone a marathon! Long story short, she was attacked during the race by a man insisting she stop because women weren’t allowed to run and she was frequently asked, ‘when are you going to stop?’ throughout the race. No one expected she would ever finish. However, no matter what she was faced with, she persisted. As a result, she became the first woman to officially finish the Boston Marathon and was a vital part in the progression of women’s sport. She paved the way for girls and women like me, to be able to pursue their sporting dreams.
My point with all this is, that we all have to start somewhere, and no matter what our journey looks like, we will have people questioning us. There will always be someone with an unhelpful comment or someone who thinks you will never achieve your goals. However, Switzer shows the power of self belief, because it doesn’t matter what others say about you, what matters is what you say to yourself. You have the power to overcome whatever you set your mind to. It is only the questioning of others that makes you doubt yourself. If you can work to block this out and ignore those who enjoy having an opinion, who knows what you could be capable of. If you feel you should pursue something, then do it, because you’ll regret it if you don’t. People will always have something to say, but you’ll be the one laughing as you experience happiness whilst chasing your goals.
Some people may say that following your dreams can be selfish at times. I’m not denying there is some truth to that, but in order to progress as an individual you have to invest in yourself. It could be interpreted as selfish, but putting time into yourself is one of the greatest life investments. It is quite the opposite of selfish. By choosing ourselves , we are able to help others more than we realise.
If we have the confidence to pursue our own dreams, we might be surprised by how much this helps someone else to do the same. Every journey is different, but this is where the power lies. Every single person, has the capacity to inspire a slightly different audience. Whatever you go through, your struggles, your highs, and your daily battles, someone out there will relate to them, so we can all use our journeys to help others through theirs. Following your ambitions has the capacity to change other peoples lives, just like Kathrine Switzer’s journey did. It was her bravery and determination that gave us the confidence to pursue our sporting dreams. If we have the courage to follow ours and persist through difficult times, then who knows what benefit this could have to future generations.
To read more about Switzer’s story, click here:
I don’t know about you, but I have a mind that is constantly on the go. From the outside it can look like you have it all under control, but this isn’t necessarily the case. Then add injury into the equation, my mind activity multiplies by about 100%, which can be exhausting.
At times I struggle to sit down and focus because my mind just won’t shut off. I always feel like I need to be doing something and be busy in order to occupy my mind. Otherwise it operates at 100 miles an hour, constantly. At times I wish I could just hit the off switch on my mind, but it isn’t as easy as this. I’m used to releasing this brain and physical energy through running, and I do struggle when that’s taken away.
However, I always try to slow my mind down at these times. Sometimes it is the complete opposite to busy that helps calm my mind. Here’s what I try to do when my mind feels a bit too much.
Do what you CAN.
Instead of focusing on what I can’t do, I find it helpful to focus on what I CAN do. At the start of my injury it was just core and a small bit of work in the pool, therefore I focused on working myself hard in these areas. This way you feel like you have done something and get the little boost that exercise can provide whilst not getting too deflated by what you can’t do. When you are so used to training a lot, it can take its toll mentally when it is taken away, so I always try to do a little bit of something, no matter how big or small. A little bit will always make you feel better than none at all.
This is one that you really need to get in to because it acts as a complete form of escapism. If you find yourself a good book, one that is to your taste, you can become so consumed by it that your mind is temporarily taken somewhere else. It is a great hour or so where you can forget about your injury and take yourself to another world.
I find writing a very therapeutic act. If I can put my thoughts on paper, I can slowly unpack them and try to understand where my thoughts are coming from. Writing may not be for everyone, but even so, putting your worries or troubles down on paper can allow you to rationalise them a lot more.
It may sound silly, but colouring is actually incredibly mindful. Just like reading, it allows you to become completely absorbed by the activity. Your mind is able to switch off (and calm down) without you even realising as your energies are redirected elsewhere. You are also consumed by something, so your thoughts are not able to drift away with themselves.
Most runners have had to battle with injury at some point, and if you haven’t, you are doing very well! Whether you have or haven’t been injured, you can relate to the struggle of having running taken away from you. For this reason, every runner understands how you feel.
If you find your mind working at 100 miles an hour, and find it difficult to cope with, I hope some of these might help settle it a little bit.
When you’re injured and training stops/reduces/changes from what you are used to, it is inevitable that your body will change in some respects. This is completely normal, however it can be difficult to come to terms with. There are some changes that because you have more time and may be dwelling a wee bit, suddenly stand out to you. However, these changes should be embraced, because they represent the amazing power of our body. It has the ability adapt and change in order to help us as best it can at that moment in time.
As a result of these changes, it can lead people to ask themselves one question. Should I eat less because I’m injured? And the answer to that is…NO!
*it is important to know I purely speak from my own experiences.
A lot of people assume when injured they should cut back on the amount they are eating because they are less active. However, your body still requires a lot of energy in order to repair and recover properly and the only place this energy comes from is food! If you reduce your intake, you risk slowing down your recovery rate, but also reducing the extent of healing, which will be of no benefit in the long run. So, how can we you think positively to see this time as a good thing?
Remember, food is fuel. You NEED it. Whilst you may not think you are fuelling as high a volume of training as normal, when you think of it in the long run, you actually are. How you treat your body now and how you fuel it will directly impact how strongly you come back to running in the future. Your body is an investment, and what you put into it now, will directly impact what you get out of it in the future. A well fuelled body during injury, will be a strong body when making your comeback.
Food is enjoyable. Try not to see it as the enemy. Now is the time to make the most of going out for dinner with friends and family. Training doesn’t quite take up the same amount of time as usual, so enjoy being able to use that extra time. Catch up with those close to you over some tasty food. Good food tastes EVEN better with good company. This is also a good way to make food more enjoyable and less of a necessity.
Enjoy the time. As athletes, we rarely have an extended period to rest, recover and recuperate. We are always on the go. Whilst this might be because we love being busy and we love training, it is also good to accept we need to slow down at times. If all goes well, you won’t be back in this situation, so enjoy the downtime whilst you can.
If you’re injured and body image is something bothering you, I hope this helps show you that everyone goes has the same thoughts but it can also be a positive time. We all worry about the physical changes that happen as a result, but it is all for good in the long run.
When it comes to injury, it can be difficult to know what you can and can’t do. As a general rule, however the injury feels, in the early stages, I believe it is always better to underdo it than overdo it. The most important thing is recovery and healing, and the less you do, the better the healing process will be in these early days. I am still not weight bearing, so if I wonder if it’s ok to do or not, it’s probably not. Less is more. So, what have I been able to do since getting my fracture?
*it is important to note I have had guidance from professional, experienced physios regarding this, and it is imperative you listen to your physio as every injury is different and cannot be treated the same as another.
In terms of cardio based work, I have done a blend of the bike and aqua jogging. My time on the bike has been very limited and minimal due to reducing the amount of contact my foot has with another surface. I have been doing no more than 30 minutes continuous on the bike. 30 minutes is the limit, so a bit less is always better. I have been told by the physio that a little bit of foot contact is good to promote bone healing, but any more is counter productive. I don’t want to do anything that will prolong the healing process, so I have been sure to stick to this and hold back.
Aqua jogging for me is where it is at when injured. There is no weight bearing, therefore the sight of injury is not being stressed.
What is aqua jogging? Put simply, it is running in the water without your feet touching the ground. You can do it either with or without a float around your middle, but I usually use the float. The float can be very beneficial as it allows you to keep your posture upright and focus on working hard instead of worrying what your body position is doing. You do not want to learn forward too much and you want to stay as upright as possible. It is also worth ensuring your hands are not being used as paddles, as that makes it easier and a less effective workout for your body.
Aqua jogging is also best done in water out of your depth. You do not want your feet to touch the ground, therefore the deeper the water the better. This can be in a pool, but I have also done it in the sea and a lake to spice it up and keep it interesting.
To keep the pool work interesting, I tend to imitate a road workout. For example, this may be repetitions of 3 minutes. You could do 6-10 of these with one minute recovery. Other sessions include sets of 60 secs, 45 secs, 30 sec, 15 sec with the following rep time as recovery.
When aqua jogging, I aim to keep the recovery short and rarely go over a minute. This keeps the heart rate high and gives you a solid session.
I have also done a small amount of conditioning a few times a week. This has included a little bit of core, some upper body work, and a small bit of glute work set by the physio. This is to maintain a little bit of running conditioning.
The most important thing I CAN do however, is REST. No form of activity is going to help as much as rest is, so this is always priority.
Sunday 31st July
In true covid style, my first experience of the Commonwealth Games was having someone stick a swab down my throat. Aside from the invasive welcome, from the moment I arrived at the welcome centre, to the moment I left, everybody was so incredibly friendly. 90 minutes later, a negative result was confirmed and I could head into the village. It was then just myself and 2 other people on a double decker bus heading to the athlete village, luxury! I was staying in the University of Birmingham village. All countries competing in athletics, gymnastics and aquatics were here, which was great for athletics as it was right beside the warm up track. The village itself literally had everything you could need in the days before competing. There were lots of food halls, nail bars, physio, treatment rooms, a gym, laundrette, and these little grab and go food stalls. Upon arrival, I was greeted by someone from NI before heading to dinner with some girls from the team.
Monday was the day we got to take a look at where the magic would happen (I anticipated a different sort of magic to what actually happened). It was actually pretty incredible to see the stadium without any spectators in it and to see the sheer size of it. It was unsurprisingly like nowhere I had ever raced before! Seeing the stadium allowed me to visualise the race unfolding and picture myself on the track. I found this incredibly beneficial as it actually took away a lot of my nerves. There was less uncertainty and imagining, because following the visit I could see exactly where I would be racing. The nerves began to lessen and the excitement started to build.
Initially, Tuesday started off as a dull day and I was going to talk about the food hall as I wouldn’t be doing very much else. I absolutely ended up doing not very much, like I would before most race days, but for a different reason. Half way through my easy morning run, my foot became very sore. This came as a complete surprise as I had not felt any discomfort previously. I went to see the physio and was told to stay in my room and not leave unless essential. I thought this was just precautionary, but on reflection it was probably the physio preventing me from doing as little additional damage as possible. I think the physio knew I would race the next day whatever they said to me, so he didn’t want to stress me out with the possible diagnosis. The rest of the day was therefore spent lying in bed, or hobbling to get food. This takes me nicely onto the food hall.
Of course, one of the most important parts of the village was the food hall. If not training or resting, most of our time was spent in the food hall. There were so many options, from lots of different countries, that you were spoilt for choice. There was everything from African to Asian to Mediterranean. You could have almost anything you fancied. For all the avocado lovers out there, they even had smashed avocado, which was a winning point for me. Outside of the food hall were trucks with even more options. There was a pizza van, a grill truck, Mexican and Mediterranean. To avoid the possibility of a dodgy stomach before the race, I steered clear of these until after, then I enjoyed them until my heart was content.
I thought this entry in my journal would be very different to the reality. I hoped I’d be telling you how amazing the experience was, and how the race went better than I expected, but sport doesn’t work like that. It doesn’t give you what you want, it gives you what you deserve.
The day before the race, my foot suddenly became very uncomfortable on my run. I knew it wasn’t the usual muscle strain or tightness. I therefore knew going into the race that something wasn’t right, and following a very painful warm up, I was pretty nervous as to how my foot would hold up. All this being said, I was never going to not stand on that start line. I had earned my place there, and I was going to show that to those around me. The pain was dull for the first 2k and the adrenaline was masking it, but from 3k the pain was just getting worse and worse to the point I was unable to run without a limp. From 3.5k it became obvious to me that I wasn’t going to make it to 10k, but I really didn’t want to drop out of that race. My heart didn’t want to let the opportunity go. It was around 4.7k that I knew I had no option. I couldn’t run on the foot and the longer I kept going, the more damage I was doing. Accompanied by a lot of tears, I called it a day.
I won’t deny, the experience was incredible and the audience was second to none. It was the most amazing race I have ever done. I just wish I could’ve made the most of it and used it to show the fitness I have, but I believe everything happens for a reason. I fractured my foot now because I was meant to. Whilst it doesn’t seem it right now, I think I will look back on this time and be grateful that it happened. The support from NI has been second to none, and the things we are setting up as a consequence of this would not have happened otherwise. Injury is just a sign that changes need to be made, and only positives can come out of these changes. The Commonwealth Games also confirmed to me, that this is the level I want to be competitive at, and I’ll work hard for it.
After very little sleep, the MRI and confirmation of what I suspected was going on in my foot was very much welcome. Fortunately, Kate (heptathlon silver medallist) couldn’t sleep either, albeit for the opposite reason to me, so I had company at 3am! The morning quickly came around, and I had prepared myself for the MRI to confirm a stress fracture, so I wasn’t surprised in the slightest when this was confirmed. I was sort of relieved, because recovery for bone injuries can be more straight forward than tendon injuries, and once I had a plan of what the next few weeks would look like, I knew I’d feel a lot more settled.
Friday came as a positive step in the right direction. I took a trip to the physio in the village gym, which was equipped with everything you could need. He ran through a few exercises I could do whilst in the boot to keep a little bit of strength on my left side and then gave me 20 mins easy spinning on the bike. I had to push down with my heel to make sure I wasn’t putting any force through the fractured area, but it felt nice to spin the legs a little.
After a week full of extreme emotions, both good and bad, I was ready to go home. I initially intended to stay until the closing ceremony, but everything had caught up with me and I was feeling pretty knackered. The village itself was also quite spread out, with a 15 minute walk to the food hall, which was becoming a bit of a struggle for my hands on crutches. The week had been an amazing learning experience regardless of the outcome, and I felt ready to get back home, digest everything I had experienced and recover before I was able to get going again.
Today was meant to be the day I did the 5,000m. The field was incredible and it was another stacked out stadium. I was really excited for this one, but instead of being in the stadium, I was back home on the sofa. There were some super strong performances from the home nation girls, and I really felt I would’ve got a decent run out in that field. However, it wasn’t meant to be, and I love watching home nation girls smash it, because it makes me excited for when we can race against eachother and help one another to fast times!
Regardless of the outcome, my Commonwealth experience was an incredible one I still haven’t really processed. For the next few weeks my focus will be on recovery and getting my foot back to one piece. I will then be able to start increasing the load and start finding some fitness.
After a busy day training and working, the last thing you want to think about is what to cook for dinner. Therefore, I always try to go into each week with a rough idea of what meals I want to cook each night. This way, there is no stress throughout the day of getting to a supermarket, or having to think what you fancy/have time to prepare. For this reason, I tend to give my meals a little bit of structure. There is nothing I won’t allow myself to eat, but to make it easier to think of recipes, I set myself a few things I want to tick off each week. I try to make sure I have:
2x Vegetarian dish (E.g. Halloumi burgers, mushroom risotto, vegetable pasta, flatbread pizzas)
1x Oily fish dish (Salmon traybake, Salmon & Dill Tortilla)
1 Red meat dish (Steak and Mushroom Orzo, spaghetti bolognese, chilli con carne)
1x Chicken dish (Fajitas, Parmesan Chicken Pasta, Piri Piri Chicken and chips)
Then the other 2 dinners allow for a little more flexibility. Maybe I’ll be at a friends for dinner, my parents, or out at a restaurant. This means I can be reassured that each week I am eating a balanced and nutritious diet. Planning dinner can for some avoid the possibility of that last minute decision to have a ‘snack’ for dinner.
So, outside from the obvious, why is dinner so important when it comes to training?
Why is dinner so important?
Refuel after a big training/working day.
When you’ve had a long training/working day, it can be hard to fuel sufficiently throughout the day. This is especially the case if you have training in the morning and the afternoon, or work has been so busy and you haven’t had time to stop. It can be hard to find the time to cook yourself a decent and substantial meal in the day, and frequently we rely on snacks either side of lunch to get us through. However, dinner is the perfect opportunity to cook a decent meal in order to refuel your body after a big day of training/working.
Give your body energy to repair over night.
The majority of our body’s repairing happens overnight when we are asleep, and this requires quite a lot of energy from our body. Therefore, in order to allow the repairing process to take place properly, we need to fuel the process. A lack of food can hinder this process and therefore inhibit our body’s ability to repair itself, and thus increase the possibility of injury.
Set you up for the following day.
Not only does a decent meal give allow you refuel after a big day, it also sets you up for the following day. Many of us do not have the time to have a big breakfast ahead of training, therefore a decent meal at dinner can mean that a standard size breakfast is all you need ahead of training/working the next day. If you do not have enough for dinner you can wake up very hungry, then only have time for a small breakfast, and thus go into your training under fuelled. If you have a busy workday, sometimes only a cereal bar is all you have time for. A good dinner helps avoid this and ensure you are still getting a decent meal in your day.
Enjoyable and sociable.
This is one of the best parts of dinner. It is a chance to catch up on what those around you have been up to throughout the day, or what they have planned for tomorrow. It is an opportunity to chat over food. Food is a great way to bring people together. It is very rare that we have time at breakfast and lunch to sit down with others and enjoy eating a meal, however dinner is usually the opposite. It is a time to slow down and enjoy the food in front of you.
If you ever find yourself getting to dinner and considering knocking it on the head, read the above points and think again. Dinner is a very important meal, and whilst I’m not a nutritionist, I have experienced the consequence of frequently knocking dinner on the head.
It’s nearly the end of my 2 week holding camp at the X-Bionic Sphere in Slovakia, and honestly I couldn’t have asked for a better camp to prepare for the Commonwealth Games. Spending time with the Northern Irish team has allowed me to become completely consumed by training and bond with those on the team. Being with others who are all working towards the same goal has allowed me to dream big and feel more confident building into the games. I am therefore very grateful to Athletics NI for the opportunity and can’t wait for the next few weeks ahead.
How am I feeling?
I am feeling a mixture of many emotions. Currently I am feeling pretty similar to how I feel ahead of any race. I am focused on training and preparing as well as I can, whilst keeping as relaxed as possible. I am just taking each day as it comes and focusing on the training I have at that specific time. I am not thinking too much about it, but also allowing myself to visualise what the race could be like so I can feel slightly prepared. I am super excited to have the opportunity to compete at such a level, and I know that whatever happens, I will come away from the Games having learned so much.
What am I doing?
Currently I am away in Slovakia on a 2 week holding camp with Team NI. This has been great as it has allowed me to get to know the team whilst having all sights focused on the Games in 2 weeks. Whilst out here I have been training as normal, doing no more than my usual plan involves, but also listening to my body closely. These next few weeks are crucial, as it’s important to work hard, but I also don’t want to overdo it. It is better to allow extra recovery rather than push the body too hard. Therefore, the plan is not set in stone, and if I feel the need, which I have, to have extra rest day, then adjustments can been made last minute. This ensures I stay as fit as possible, but don’t risk burning out. For example, this week I was beginning to feel quite tired and run down, so we opted to add in an unplanned rest day and I felt much better for it.
With just over a week until I enter the village, there are only a few days of training camp left. Then I’ll be home for a few days before the real countdown begins. It is just 12 days until race day. Exciting times!!!!
This week marked the start of my first ever training camp. For 2 weeks I have headed away with the Northern Irish team to prepare for the Commonwealth Games. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I don’t go away from home often, but when the training set up is perfect where I’m going, I know I will be happy.
Eat sleep train repeat.
Don’t get me wrong, my life on a daily basis at home is training orientated. My whole day is structured around training. However, it also comes with having to fit in daily life jobs, which can be more stressful than you realise and also take up quite a lot of time. I also spend a lot of time in the car driving from home to training locations. Going away for a training camp has erased all of that. I have continued to work remotely, but all the life jobs and travel time has been erased. The track, gym, run routes, physio and everything else you can image is on the doorstep. This means I can also focus on recovery. As soon as a session is done I can hop in an ice bath and start recovering without the delay of travelling. If I need a nap, I have time to nap. Not having to travel also allows me to maximise the amount of sleep I’m getting as I don’t need to wake up super early.
Super-friendly people with the same goals.
Living in the middle of nowhere, I am used to training solo, which I love, but the lack of other athletes also means there is a lack of people trying to achieve the same thing. For this reason, the training we have to put in to get to where we want can seem a bit crazy to some. Being surrounded by athletes all working towards the Commonwealth Games, all with the desire to give their best ever performance, and all guided by training, makes training that bit easier. It is lovely to be able to share the journey with others in a similar boat.
At home we are very lucky to have access to some great facilities. The gyms and the track are all of a decent standard. However, being at a location where the facilities are the driving force means they are going to be impeccable. There is everything you need and more. This takes all the usual stress associated with going abroad. Most of the time you are unsure whether the place you are heading has all you need, and it can mean hitting a few of your usual things on the head. However, there is zero stress of that here because EVERY piece of equipment I could need is here.
Ultimately, training camps are not the be all and end all. They are not going to make you any better just by going away. Hard work is hard work wherever you are. However, the ease of training and focus they provide can be immensely beneficial. If you get the opportunity to head away training, go for it! A training camp is the least stressful trip abroad, because it has everything you could possibly need!
For a long time I tried incredibly hard to avoid Covid. I was (and probably still am) a bit of a covid freak. I was determined not to get it, however, catching it at some point was inevitable. Slowly it was getting closer and closer. My dad caught it, then my mum, then my boyfriend, and surprise surprise, I was next. However, I was bizarrely relieved. With the Commonwealth Games looming, I was going to get it at some point, so it was good to have got it with still enough time to go to take my time recovering properly. Fortunately, I was quite lucky and didn’t react too badly. I had one day feeling a bit off, 2 days feeling quite rough, and then I was quickly back to normal. That being said, like any illness, you need to respect it when you return to running. So, how did my return to running after covid look?
When did I run?
Obviously being a typical runner, the temptation is to keep running through, but when ill your body has to work hard to fight whatever it is fighting, and running can do a lot more damage and no real good. Therefore I stopped running as soon as I felt funny and tested positive. I then didn’t return to running until I’d had a full day symptom free (besides a remaining runny nose). This ensured my body had done the majority of the fighting and I wasn’t going to overload it.
How did running feel?
Easy running actually felt pretty good and normal. It was great to get outside again and move my body. My legs felt a little heavier than normal, but my body itself felt ok. My heart rate had returned to normal, but my breathing was a little bit faster and more irregular. I just kept my runs really easy and relaxed. I tried not to think too much about how I was feeling as at this point I would just be overthinking. In order to help my breathing, I just focused on being relaxed.
When did I session?
I didn’t want to risk doing a hard session until I was sure I was completely better. Therefore after a few days of easy running, I did a half session. I just did some short hill reps followed by a steady effort run. I felt much better than expected, so this was a good indicator that I was ready to get back to it. I personally found it best to do a half session as my first session as it also ensured I didn’t push too hard too soon. I could get more body working again, but not risk ending up absolutely spent. I then followed this again with a few easy days, before I tried a higher effort session. This did feel a little harder than normal, and I didn’t feel great, but it was to be expected after a little while out from the routine of hard training.
How did I increase the volume?
Due to the fact I hadn’t been out of training for very long, the return to full volume didn’t take long. I had an easier week and then the following week I gradually built it up to normal volume. The important thing is to listen to how you feel and be governed by this. If you have a few days back training and then start to feel worse, take a step back. Rushing it will do a lot more detriment than taking your time. Also, if you have a coach, feed back to them how you feel. They can only know what training to set you if you are honest with how you’re feeling. Communication is vital.
Key learning point.
I found it important not to stress or put too much pressure on myself. The most important thing was to recover well, no matter how long it would take. Therefore there was no point stressing about what other people were doing or the fact I wasn’t able to do British Champs, but instead focus on what I could do. Taking every day as it came and not forcing the training was the best way forward. If I didn’t feel as strong as I did a few weeks ago, this was ok. I hadn’t lost any fitness, it just takes a few weeks for the sharpness and flow to return. Remember, don’t force it and be truthful about how you feel on a daily basis.
I’m sure I speak for a lot of people when I say that I find it hard to settle for average when it comes to sessions. I have that type A personality trait that always feels the need to be doing better than what’s expected. Therefore, when a session day arrives and my body isn’t feeling great, I find it hard to be comfortable with an ‘average’ session, even though its the best I have on the day. However, sometimes average is the best place for you to be, and here is why.
Prevents you overreaching.
Having average days can be exactly what you need. It can be a sign that you need more recovery and therefore remind you that it is ok to stay within yourself in order to get back feeling fresh. By doing this, it allows you to be more in tune with how you feel and contribute to consistency. Being able to tick off weeks of back to back training without pushing over the red line, not only allows you to train consistently because you’re not too tired, it also helps prevent injury. It can be hitting that red line that just tips you over into injury.
Allows you to be more than average.
Whilst it may sound contradictory, for the above reason, average allows you to exceed average. If you can get weeks and weeks of training consistently, you open yourself up to progression. Training is what makes you faster and stronger, so if you can do this for a long time without interruption, you will notice the benefits. It also means by just getting the job done on some days, you can smash others, and even better if this is a race day. Race days are when you can step out of average.
Fitness has a range.
Frequently when doing a session, there is a range of where you can be to achieve the same benefit. This may be a 5 second range, or even more, and whether you are at the highest or lowest point of this range, you will still be getting the same benefit. If your effort levels are at where you feel they should be, you are in the right place. This shows that every session doesn’t need to be hammered, because you can achieve the same result without flooding your body with so much fatigue. This also adds to my initial point about not overreaching and risking injury.
Allows us to appreciate above average.
Everybody needs average. If we exceeded average everyday, eventually that would become our average. Therefore, average will always exist. We need to have slightly less amazing sessions in order to recognise when one has truly gone above expectation. The tough days and average sessions keep us grounded and remind us not to take the journey for granted. It is the days where it doesn’t come so easily and we have to really dig deep that make us stronger. They make us appreciate that sport is not easy and no matter where you are in your journey, it will be tough. These days make the good ones seem so much sweeter.
For these reasons, average can give us a lot of benefit.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!