The Beginning

People often have a bit of a lull in their mood after races. A bit of a depression. Might be all that emotion that comes out on the day after all of that build up. Might be the idea of returning to the minutia of daily life. Probably both. And yes, when I come back from a weekend away it is deeply shocking to me that I have to cook for people. But as far as a post-race depression I don’t really get that. Because the end of one thing always means the beginning of something else. And I love beginnings. Beginnings are shiny and new. And I’m not thinking ‘it’s over’, I’m thinking: what’s next?

For me, nutrition is something that tends to fall by the wayside in marathon training. It shouldn’t but it does. And towards the end you are subsisting on a diet of pasta and anything with sugar in it. Which is less than ideal. But I did drastically improve from the last time I ran a marathon in that I didn’t gain weight. So I’ll just take my wins and leave it at that. So now I can get back to my nutrition. I’ll be honest, when I worked out my macros this morning there was an alarming lack of room available for wine and cookies. ALARMING. But still now i have a shopping list of what I need to buy to get myself into gear. And for me, short distance is a great time to be focusing on that because 1) I have heaps more time now that I’m not going for five million long runs every week and 2) I’m not so hungry all the time that I can’t actually think about what I’m eating.

I always think that summer is a fantastic time of year for 5km training. Because speed in the 5km translates into having a great base for a whole heap of other things and you don’t have to be out in the humid heat of death in the Australian summer for too long while you are at it. Last year, during marathon training I ran 5km in 24:55 and I could have just about died afterwards it was so hard. Admittedly it was on hills which can make it a bit harder, but not that much harder. But I’ve never really improved on it that much. And now I’m pretty sure I could do that on a flat course but on the hills I don’t think I could. So, although I have gone under 25 minutes it’s never been built on or turned into something that I could reliably do.

Sadly, I don’t have parkrun which would be an outstanding test ground for 5km training. But I can make do with what I’ve got. I have to keep up a certain level of distance because I’m heading to Kurrawa 2 Duranbah for the 15km run in December, but I’m going to be keeping everything during the week pretty short and snappy and also give my body a bit of a break from the rigours of marathon training.

I’m excited to start the next phase. And if you’d like to join me – I’ve created a program for you here.

Beginnings are awesome.

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Zoey Dowling

Written by: Zoey Dowling

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