Slowly, slowly, I’ve been crawling out of my post-Portumna funk. It took me a while to slap my attitude back into shape, but I hope and think I’m getting there. I’m beginning to realise that one of my difficulties has been training too often in isolation. Over the last twelve months I had trained on my own more regularly than ever before and I think this was leading me down a cul-de-sac. I’ve always advised runners to join a club, to run in company and to write race reports. There’s magic in the collective.
Mainly because of work commitments over the last year, I’ve often had to train at unusual times. Sometimes, I’ve been unable to train at all. Although the total number of miles I’ve run has decreased a little, I really don’t think that that has been such a big problem. A more significant difficulty has been that too often I’ve been training on my own and listening to my own advice in all situations. Looking back, I’ve given myself some really crap advice recently, but I’ve been quite happy to take that advice at the time. Being isolated from the group means not being able to draw from that great common pool of inspiration which a club creates. I was no longer listening to the experience and expertise that surrounds me at my club. In short, I was in danger of seeing my training program disappear up its own without even knowing there was a problem.
I needed to make some changes. Obviously, I needed to run in company more often and I believe I can do that. I also need an outside perspective – someone who will be willing to act as an athletic conscience, confidante and sanity-check. Thankfully, a good friend has agreed to take on those roles for a short while. This might only be while I regain some perspective or it might be for longer. Who knows?
My two year-old daughter is a fan of Dora the Explorer. When Dora looses her way, she simply shouts ‘Map’ and a magical map appears to show her the way.
If only it was that simple with running.