Safely home from Florida (and more or less back in the right time zone again) my focus for the remaining weeks of the school holidays was to kickstart my training again. I lost some momentum at the end of term, especially when I wasn’t feeling well, and was also very conscious that the good habits I created last year of regular home yoga and taking time for myself had fallen by the wayside. I had also discussed with Steve the fact that I didn’t think one training session with him per week was enough and wanted to add additional strength work to my week while I was off (with a view to hopefully managing two sessions a week once the school year begins). I wanted to create a holiday routine with training front and centre, balanced with plenty of time to relax and enjoy the time off. Here’s how the first week of that routine ended up:
Monday – PT session with Steve + Hatha yoga
Tuesday – 4 miles
Wednesday – PT session with Steve
Thursday – 6 miles + Ashtanga yoga
Friday – PT session with Steve
Saturday – parkrun sandwich
Sunday – 8 miles
Although I’ve only included my yoga classes, it should be noted that I did yoga at home on all of the other days.
I was straight down to the studio first thing on the Monday morning ready and (mostly) willing to get started. As you may remember, prior to the holidays I really wanted to focus on my arms – I felt like I hadn’t maintained my strength and definition, so wanted to do some work to build upper body strength which, hopefully, will help my running too. Steve gave me circuits using the TRX and some weights, progressing the exercises and mixing things up regularly. By the end my poor wee arms were quite weary!
Fortunately I had a yoga session that evening and it was a relaxing one (I had been worried my arms might not work if I needed to use them much!) so this session was exactly what I needed to help me wind down and sleep well that night.
I began Tuesday with a 4 mile run. At this point I was still feeling my calves a bit weary and tight – the consequences of lots of long days on my feet at Disney and a cutback in my running miles over about a month. Nothing adverse going on and I knew it would resolve within a week or so. To help things on their way, I had a sports massage booked and I definitely felt an improvement after that. I also did a little unintentional cat yoga that day – I think they were still feeling a bit clingy after us being away for a couple of weeks!
Wednesday saw me back at the studio working through a similar circuit to Monday… and the start of Steve making “guest appearances” in my post-workout selfies again!
Thursday was probably my busiest day of the week. I began with a 6 mile run since my legs were feeling much better and I had much more energy since my sleep rhythms were back to normal. I then spent a bit of time out reading in the garden as it was a beautiful day. In fact, it was that one day of the year when the temperature (minus humidity) topped the temperature in Florida!
Unfortunately, probably not the best day to bundle the kitties in their travel baskets to go to the vet for their annual boosters and health check! They were not best pleased and sang me a lovely song all the way there.
I then had Ashtanga yoga that evening – my first class in ages since I missed the one before I went on holiday and missed 3 while I was away/travelling home. Thanks to the beautiful weather it was an outdoor class which I love as it happens so rarely. There were loads of people in the park so it maybe wasn’t as peaceful as it could have been, but it was so nice to be out in the fresh air rather than the studio which would have been boiling! Prior to the holidays I was struggling with my headstand and in hindsight that was probably a combination of me not doing enough yoga/strength work combined with being completely exhausted. I was certainly feeling much better, but by this point it was a month since my last Ashtanga class so I asked my teacher to spot me for the headstand so I could begin to rebuild my confidence there, starting with doing the posture whilst supported. I suspect I have been overthinking it a bit but my aim is to be back to holding it, unsupported, for 5 breaths before the end of the year.
Back in the studio on Friday to continue with that upper body work. Nothing really interesting to say about this, it’s just going to be about consistency and varying the exercises to hit different muscle groups and build up strength and definition. I pretty much just turn up and Steve tells me what to do. In this one situation in life, I do as I’m told 😂
On Saturday it was time for the parkrun sandwich again. It was a humid day but I felt so much better than the week before and my time was about 30 seconds faster so I was pleased with that. Still nowhere near my best but that doesn’t matter right now, what matters is that I consistently make small improvements as that shows me my fitness and speed returning.
Post-parkrun I joined Steve to meet his brother and was re-introduced to the bacon croissant. I missed those!
And I rounded off the week with an 8 mile run on the Sunday. Despite being a longer run than the week before, I felt so much better. Clearly getting back into the right time zone and being consistent with some training was already paying off! I know I’m not where I was when I was at my peak, but already I’m feeling the strength and fitness returning so with a bit more of my holidays to go I’m sure I can continue to make improvements.
Much as I loved being away, it was good to get back into a consistent routine and my focus for the rest of the summer will really be on that consistency, building strength and working to get my runs a little faster and a bit longer. Let’s see how that goes…
What is your training focus right now?
Any races/events coming up?