The holidays are a great time to take a break from training, to reset and spend time doing things other than running. However, once January hit I was on a downward spiral.
After having spent the majority of 2016 marathon training, I felt lost after race day had come and gone. Before I knew it, one glass of wine a few nights a week turned into one or two glasses most nights. One cup of coffee in the morning turned into three cups of coffee throughout the day. My bad habits were quickly revealing my addictive personality.
When I’m sliding down this slippery slope of bad habits, everything is spiraling so fast it’s hard to grab the handrails in time to throw on the emergency break to slow things down. By mid-January, I felt like crap and knew I had to get a grip on these bad habits before they got any worse.
I know I need this break from caring about my running pace and finish lines, but I also need to figure out how to get into a rhythm without a specific training goal and without my eye on any specific finish line.
For so long my healthy habits were dictated by my running goal. I was shocked at how much my running goals and the lack of running goals were impacting my day to day food choices.
To get back on track, I knew a program like Whole 20 would never work. I’m just don’t have it in me to follow diet fixes right now. Instead I decided to give myself a few realistic “rules” to follow. I told myself I only had to make through three weeks of following these rules before reassessing.
These are the “rules” I’m following:
- Wake-up 30 minutes earlier on weekdays to get a jump start on the day.
- Drink, one cup of coffee Monday-Thursday and two cups on Fridays only (something to look forward too!).
- No wine on weekdays. No excuses.
- Workout 4 days, take 1 rest day. I try to alternate between cardio focused workouts and strength focused workouts. I’m still a big fan of classpass! (If you haven’t tried classpass, sign up here and we each get $30 off)
- Don’t read the news every single day! It is exhausting trying to keep up with everything going on right now and reading the news every single day was having a negative impact.
Right now, I’m now halfway through week four of following these guidelines and so far it’s working! I’m going to try to make it to six weeks and then figure out where to go from there.
Most importantly, I’m starting to feel more like myself even though I don’t have a race on the horizon.
Have you ever struggled to find your groove when taking time off from being focused on running?