Dealing With Mistakes And Accepting Setbacks

When you have a structured training plan, a skeleton to get from where you are to where you want to be its hard to separate yourself from ‘the path’. But when things go wrong, or you make a mistake the best thing you can do is accept change and adjust your course .

A few weeks back I recce’d the Wainstones Marathon route, the first half to be exact which took in 16.85 miles and almost 3200ft of climbing. The terrain was tough and I failed to keep my perceived effort under control. Using up a chunk of energy and giving my legs a battering in the process I found my muscles fatigued the following week. Jayson Cavill creates plans with a purpose, every session needs to be done at particular efforts and while over exerting myself through one session can be handled, doing so multiple times has a knock on effect.

My legs were tight, very tight and with an even tougher session planned for the following weekend I had to accept a setback. Pushing too hard one weekend logically means you have to pull back the next. So, out I went on a boring 2 hour endurance run instead of my 3 hour tough session on the Wainstones course. With just fours weeks till my marathon this was my last recce ruined and left me feeling deflated, but feeling blue would solve nothing. Jayson had another specific run planned for me the following weekend which was tough and 2 hours 30 minutes so I could incorporate the route into that session instead.

So, here I am two weeks on from the mistake and all that changed was the length and intensity of one run. Sure I’d feel better for sticking to the plan, but my fatigue would have just lingered another week effecting todays run and so on until I finally accepted reality and eased off, or got injured. Instead I was able to actually enjoy views like the one pictured above and complete another very purposeful run.

Its also worth noting, Jayson pinpointed last weekends run as the one to back off on. The rest of my plan remained the same. Because of this my legs didn’t completely recover and I did have some lingering tightness so decided to seek out a masseuse. Hardmoorians will probably know Karen (Stadium Masseuse.) She has a rare talent for banishing lactic acid and knots while not bruising or causing any pain. I had my massage late Friday night and was out running for 2 hours and 30 minutes on the Saturday morning. Karen comes highly recommended and certainly ironed out all my issues.

Easing off was never part of the plan, travelling through to York on a Friday evening after working from 6.30 till 5.30 was never part of the plan, but these were changes that had to happen. Call it a gut feeling or instinct, but I knew it was the right thing to do despite another part of me which hates change. I think its important to tap into this when things don’t quite go to plan. How many times do we know its the right thing to do and just refuse to listen to ourselves?

I now have just two weeks until the Hardmoors Wainstones Marathon, it all feels so real now and nerves have started to kick in. I just need to play around with more fueling options and be careful to stick to my perceived efforts for future sessions. If this means running 20 seconds per mile slower than I’d like, tough, the alternative is missing out on important sessions through fatigue. I’ll leave you with another picture from my weekend on the Wainstones, have a great bank holiday weekend!

Darren Smith

Fairly new to Trail running, Darren sees 2017 as a transitional year. Swapping concrete for dirt and 10K’s for marathons and beyond. Darren started “Trailing The Pack” to chronicle his journey and share the trip with any like minded nutters.

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