One Month In And #NoDaysOff

As 2018 came to a close, I promised myself that I would take a more consistent approach to my training in the New Year. The last 12 months of my life had been plagued by a string of work-related crises, a series of aggravating/expensive dental issues, and a couple of persistent running-related injuries, all of which derailed my original plans for 2018.

What bothered me most about my training in 2018 was the persistent feeling that nothing in my life was within my control. I was never acting on the good things because I was too busy reacting to the bad things. I wasn’t running my life; life was just running all over me.

Something needed to change for 2019, so I took up the #nodaysoff philosophy recently popularized by the running apparel company Tracksmith.

Tracksmith's #nodaysoff wall calendar for 2019.
Tracksmith’s #nodaysoff wall calendar for 2019.

On its surface, #nodaysoff probably sounds like the perfect pathway to early season injuries … but the point isn’t to run yourself into a hole. I am in no way compensated by Tracksmith, so the point isn’t to sell more gear, either. The point is simply to make training a conscious part of each day. This includes the speed work days, the recovery run days, the long slow distance running days, the strength training days, the cross training days, and even the rest days. It’s about knowing why we put ourselves out there during these cold, dark months: consciously thinking about what we put into our training and what we expect to get out of our training. My training regimen was an afterthought in 2018, and my race results reflected that fact. I want something better for myself in 2019.

So, I’m now one month into 2019 and I’ve made my training a conscious part of the last 31 days. That doesn’t mean I’ve over trained myself into exhaustion over the last month, though. I’ve run just under 125 miles across 20 days in January. Despite the snow. Despite the ice. Despite the record-breaking cold. That also means that I’ve spent 11 days in January NOT running. Instead, for a third of the month I have focused on strength training, cross training, and active recovery. When wind chills exceeded double digits in Cincinnati, training smarter meant NOT running outside.

My Strava training calendar for January 2019. #nodaysoff
My Strava training calendar for January 2019. #nodaysoff

A big part of my consistency has come from spin classes via Peloton. Sure, Twitter is having a great time tearing apart the company’s ridiculously glamorous branding lately, but I’ve squeezed in at least one spin workout a day over the last 38 days … and I can feel the difference. This is the first time that I’ve worked regular spin workouts into my training and I’m interested to see how this impacts my fitness this spring.

We’re only one month into 2019, but I’m committed to keeping up this momentum. Running is important to me and so I have made a conscious decision to prioritize my training. I’m excited to see the impact that this has on my racing season, and I’ll keep you posted on the results. See you on the roads …

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