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Many people talk about having a good work-life balance, but when you are training for a big goal race or event it can sometimes become more of a “workout-life balance” scenario.

I have just competed in my Goal race for the year, I specifically set no other races after this on the calendar so I could concentrate on this one race that I have wanted to do for some years now.

Unfortunately it didn’t go to plan, but that’s a whole different story!

I guess to categorise myself I would be a middle of the pack runner, definitely not elite. I have a family and a full-time job - so basically very little “spare” time.

For my “goal race” I had to take my interest in trail running to the next level, by that I mean I consulted with a coach who gave me a training plan based on where I was at physically already and what I wanted to achieve! Getting a properly drawn up training plan is kind of a big thing for me, I’ve used generic training plans which hadn’t really worked (I’m not saying they don’t work, they just didn’t work for me) so to actually have something structured personally for me was a big step in itself.

The downside of a training plan though is trying to fit that specific training in to an already busy schedule. I had previously been running 2-3 times a week just for a bit of fun so I had those sessions covered, but when it goes up to 5, sometimes 6 sessions a week you start to eat into your family time.

I am lucky enough to have a partner who is also into trail running, so she is very understanding when it comes to taking time away to get the training done. The problem though...she was also training for her Goal race. (Same event, different distance.)

So it was a bit of a juggling act, but luckily we managed to sort it out while still maintaining a functioning household.
We incorporated some family time into the training, something as simple as an easy run with my daughter as a recovery run, or a hike with them down to some rock pools. The fact that my coach also has kids and understood the training/family time dynamic was very helpful as well.

Once the race is run and done there is usually a sense of relief or a release of pressure (more often than not its pressure you put on yourself). Mostly that you get to return to a “normal” life… whatever that is… something a little less structured I suppose.

My advice in this phase?

Take this time to relax, recover and reflect on your achievements. Certainly get back out and run, swim, ride or workout if you want to, but do it because you enjoy doing it not because you have to.

What do you do to return to normality after pouring yourself into training for an event? Head over to Facebook and let us know your tips and tricks post-race.


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