Everyone always talks about “beware of the Ides of March;” however, I think most runners really need to “beware of the Ides of April”. For collegiate athletes April kicks off the outdoor season into full swing but also is full force of tests, exams, projects, and research papers just looming in the final days and weeks of the semester. Other runners are coming off all those winter miles and preparing themselves for a spring marathon, half marathon, or even just starting to begin their next racing segment. Fitness levels this time of year can seem to be changing on a daily or weekly basis and combined with stress, can cause even the most relaxed and positive runner to feel like they are riding an emotional roller coaster. I am reminded of this rollercoaster this time of year with my own training and the athletes I coach.
After a disappointing return to racing and the track nonetheless, I was able to bounce back and surprise myself today with what could arguably be one of my best workouts post collegiately. I like to use the weather as analogy here… We think summer is around the corner, we start FINALLY seeing the sun for a change, then all of the sudden a gust of cold returns leaving us feeling like gloom and doom. However, that doesn’t just mean we should be afraid summer is never going to come and stop searching for that perfect beach bathing suit.
With running there are so many ups and downs, even if we realize this it’s hard when these ups and downs come when we least expect it. The important thing is keeping perspective and staying calm (although often easier said than done.) After challenging my athletes the past few weeks with mileage and any other crazy thing I could through at them, my goal is to keep them positive, believing in themselves, and not getting to emotionally high or low. While, I think I may becoming a better coach than athlete myself, I am going to try and take my own advice on this one and stay away from getting on the amusement ride.