Marginal gains

Well I didn’t do the Abbey Dash. My husband and a few work people braved the wind and rain to run the 10k in good times. Me, I stayed at home.

I went for a run on the Saturday night and managed just under two miles before I had to stop. Knee was great, hamstrings were good and I could feel my glutes working. I just lacked energy, I was completely drained. Now it’s fair to say I’d had an awful couple of months, and I have a few more to come I’m sure, but this wasn’t just mental. Something wasn’t right. Yet again I had that feeling I was about to get ill so all my energy was elsewhere. Bloody annoying. I just wished I could be like the lizards in ‘V’, that classic 80s show, so I could strip back the skin to see exactly what’s going on inside.

Well today I feel like I might have actually done just that. It’s 6 days after my tonsillectomy and although I’m in (no exaggeration) the most excruciating pain I’ve ever experienced, I’ve got high hopes. I was doing ok until yesterday, then today has been unbearable, my eyes have streamed just drinking water. But I don’t feel ill as such, just drained with pain and tired so fingers crossed I’ll get the miracle I’m hoping for. By the way this collection of blogs covering each day post op helps you prepare for what’s to come. I think some have low pain thresholds though.

I have everything pinned on this op, I’m hoping the energy I’m lacking and that feeling of constantly fighting something will disappear and I can push on with training. Once I’m fit enough to run I’m going to run every day for a month. I’m even going to try and get up at 5.30am to get a steady few miles in before work.

I was at a recent leadership talk where the successful people talked about finding time and getting up just 30 minutes earlier can make all the difference. As running is proven to release endorphins, increase brain performance and reduce stress levels, one before work should be perfect. The first week will be tough and probably the second but my idea is to simply get back the running habit.

While I was waiting for my op I was reading last month’s Runners World magazine article on ‘black box thinking.’ It’s all about analysing your bad runs not just your good, looking at all the data and making small changes that’ll hopefully lead to one big improvement – marginal gains. I read something similar last month in The Psychologist magazine (get me) called Wu wei. “The ideal of ‘effortless action’, or wu-wei, refers to the dynamic, unselfconscious state of mind of a person who is optimally active and effective.” I took from the long, detailed article that the more you strive and the harder you work, the less relaxed you are so you don’t actually achieve. There’s something in that.

So as time is of the essence for me, every run has to count so analysing the detail of each run may yield better results than just training long and hard. It’s worth a go.

So the first ‘small’ change is having these infected tonsils out (tick), the next is doing core strength every week for an hour as well as the short daily drills and there will be others around diet and sleep. I’m thinking the only way is up for 2016 now, it certainly can’t be as bad as this running year, no way.

 

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