I began a new training cycle this past Monday. Some of it is what I’ve done before, other parts are new.
The first workout of each new training cycle is loaded for sure. It has the power to set the tone for the rest of the workouts, providing confidence or dread with each passing week.
I know that single workouts in themselves are a drop in the bucket. Good workouts happen, bad workouts happen, a single run is not definitive of a race season.
However, it is always the most exciting test in the beginning. I’ve been running mostly easy for the past month, so I’m technically unfit right now (unfit towards my racing goals, not unfit in a health sense).
How will my body and mind handle the new stimulus?
What will my mindset be tomorrow?
Am I getting enough sleep? (no, I couldn’t fall asleep due to rolling thoughts about a completely different thing)
What happens if I cannot complete the workout?
I find that I structure workouts in the same way I structure races. I have A, B and C goals for them.
My “A” goal is to complete said workout exactly as I planned, no modifications and if I’m feeling good, amp it up at the end.
My “B” goal is to complete the workout with enough intensity to get the training stimulus I need, but not necessarily as long or as fast as I would have ideally gone.
My “C” goal is saved for if I feel sick or bad mentally, and I just start each interval, hold on as long as I can, and then recover as long as I need, and try again.
I guess a “D” goal would be to run easy and recover instead, but then I would switch this workout with an easier run later in the week and attempt it again.
I did my first workout Thursday morning and it went statistically perfect. I completed the mileage and intensity of the workout and finished feeling tired, but all there mentally.