May was a bit of a funny month for me. And by funny I guess I sort of mean tragic. Balance is one of those things I always struggle to find, and now that the month has finally come to a close I feel comfortable enough saying out loud that I well and truly fell into the trap of overtraining during May.
I can easily attribute this overtraining to two things. Firstly, it was #EveryDayMay and I had been wanting to do a run streak for quite a while. It isn’t easy combining a run streak with triathlon training because as much as I hate to admit it, rest days really are an important part of developing as an athlete. Secondly, the sun started to come out and the temperature grew a little warmer…which meant my ‘fear of missing out’ was at an all-time high. If it’s sunny, I simply have to be outdoors. I don’t care what other commitments I have on that day I just have to make sure I can be outdoors for a good portion of it, soaking up some vitamin D and breathing in fresh air…even if I’m injured and am in a considerable amount of pain, I still need to be outdoors doing something active.
About half way through the month I injured my hamstring. I’m quite used to having various injuries and training through them (my physio hates me) but a hamstring injury was completely new to me and caught me off-guard. I even had to wear Converse to work to cope with the pain (told you it was a tragic month). At this point I still wasn’t ready to give up my run streak so continued to run on it up until the 24th when I became unwell and had to give up all dreams of running through to the end of the month. The 24th was a full rest day for me which I definitely needed, but then of course I threw myself back into training with my sea swim the next day. The day after the sea swim I fell over and hit the knee of my good leg (I felt like my legs were cursed during May) but decided to restart my running on yet another injury. The day after that I soft-of-spontaneously decided to swim, cycle and run…all in the same day…because the weather was nice and I had a few hours off work in the afternoon so could fit it in. Needless to say I wasn’t fuelled for that level of intensity, but hey, at least I completed my first brick session of the season. And a triathlon, I guess.
I really was conscious of the fact that I was doing too much during May, but it felt much like when you’re in those little teacups at the fairground and you just keep spinning and spinning and refuse to get off. I knew that I needed to slow down, but I didn’t want to, and when I’ve committed to doing something I usually see it through. I love swimming, I love cycling and I love running. I want to do each discipline all the time, no matter what. I also hadn’t told my tri coach that I was doing a run streak, which was a conscious decision because I knew I’d be advised against it…I think when you know that you’ll be advised against it by a professional, you kind of know you’re doing the wrong thing. And so with that, I needed May to come to an end so I could draw a line under ‘the month of overtraining’ and move onto bigger and better things. June is going to be a bit slower, I will make sure I honour the one rest day in my training schedule every single week and I may even skip a few other sessions if my injuries don’t feel great.
I also feel like May was a bit of a knee-jerk reaction to the fact that I am very conscious that my first big event of the season is rapidly approaching and was simultaneously having a mini-meltdown because I can’t seem to find a trisuit that fits me properly (#firstworldproblems)…but I need to put faith in myself that my training plan is enough, that rest will only make me stronger in the long term and that hopefully I will find a trisuit that fits.