Friday, 29 May 2015

Skipping A Training Session Does Not Equal Failure

The mentality around training can be a tricky thing. I'm all for planning, putting sessions in the diary like any other appointment, and coming up with alternatives when circumstances change. I'm comfortable with the idea of resting when sick and not trying to play catch-up afterwards. One thing I rarely do, and wouldn't go so far as to advocate, is purposefully skipping a session. Yet last weekend, over the Bank Holiday, that's exactly what I did.

In my diary, on Sunday, I had written in a 2.5hr training run. And I chose not to do it. It wasn't because I didn't feel up to it, or that plans had changed, but that I chose to spend my time differently. And that's fine. For at last two months it had been arranged that my mum would come to visit for the weekend. We had no fixed plans as such and I'd set the expectation that on Saturday I would need to work for an hour and that I had some training to do. I did my work, and we did parkrun together but for the majority of the weekend I decided to prioritise relaxation over my training. Juggling the last weeks of my day job with training and ramping up my PT business means I'm usually always in work mode, thinking about what else I can do towards building my business and so being able to disconnect and be frivolous was a true joy. It felt as though I'd had a holiday!
We had fizz and chips by the lake, went to the cinema and ate breakfast al fresco each day. We made use of our National Trust memberships by visiting Mottisfont, Greys Court and Cliveden, wandered around the grounds, took a boat trip on the Thames and indulged in cakes and ice creams. I bought an early Jamie Oliver cook book in one of the second hand shops and cooked from it that same night. We took a picnic to Virginia Water and walked around the lake afterwards. Frankly, it was delightful.
And it's not as though I've been sitting around. I've run 13 miles this week including the parkrun with mum. The Virgina Water walk was 4 miles and we covered several more miles in purposeful walks and finding our way through mazes. I took part in a circuits class with Barnes Fitness on Monday and got in a bike set before work on Wednesday. Apart from Sunday I've hit every training session this week.
So I'm still taking it seriously but "training the soul", as someone put it, is also important. Constantly thinking about work and training can be exhausting and counter productive and there's truth in the adage "everything in moderation". Sure I agonised a bit over skipping the run but ultimately I'm glad I did. It's not a regular occurrence and does not equal failure. I just picked up from the next session.

One of the pieces of advice I've been given as I move further into the PT world is that just as you would block out time for appointments and work, block out time for relaxation, because it's very easy for things to take over. Taking that advice I made time to go to the UK Fitness Bloggers meet up on Wednesday night (such a fun evening) and watched a film with a friend over skype last night. Ain't technology great?

Was your Bank Holiday weekend more training or relaxation? Do you find it hard to get real downtime?

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