WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON YOUR SUMMER VACATION? The 18th and last week of the Half Marathon + ‘SAINTS DAYS’ Training Plan, which spanned January to May, has been completed. Participant runners have accomplished their long-distance goal race and are in recovery mode for 2-3 weeks.
WHAT’S NEXT? I tend to feel happy but a bit let-down after finishing such a long training plan. The feeling is comparable to the famous “show-hole” that’s was made fun of on a TV ad in 2015. ‘Show-holes’ don’t seem to exist anymore. There’s always one more series to become engrossed in and to binge-watch once you’re hooked. Training-holes can occur, however, with the completion of huge, multi-month efforts. I’ve never trained for a marathon, but this post-race period would seem to be the perfect set-up for a let-down.
Both show-holes and training-holes and are nothing to laugh about (well, maybe just a little). They are periods of time in which our schedules are perhaps uncomfortably wide open and there isn’t a programming slot or a daily workout to which other weekly activities are anchored. As much as there was to complain about getting in every weekend’s long run or walk, not having to it do now creates a void.
Many elementary school children and their parents must deal with a wide-open summer annually. Some elect to register for summer music, sport, or theater camps to help break up the long stretch between June and the end of August. And enjoy a family vacation. High school and college students take summer classes, enroll in travel-abroad study programs, or find jobs to earn extra spending money.
Remember that feeling when your friends had plans to go away or were lucky enough to be occupied with fantastic activities, and your entire summer promised to be a boring blank?
The problem with training- and show-holes is that they may both appear just as the summer begins, a time many of us associate with fun and enjoyment of the outdoors. That’s not to say we shouldn’t be happy to relax and not have every day booked up weeks in advance.
Lack of planned fitness activities can lead to anxiety about exactly how to enjoy these “carefree” days. It’s an effort to come up with novel recreational opportunities daily/weekly on the fly. Without a plan, at summers end, there’s potential for disappointment when, in retrospect, nothing fun, exciting, or mildly awesome took place; nothing that would help write that elementary school report about summer’s happenings.
Although adults may no longer worry about summer schedules, it might be a good idea. There are opportunities to sign up for organized league sports like softball, baseball, kick-ball, volleyball, and golf. What is available those who enjoy other athletic activities such as running, walking, and fitness training? Are there any special summer adventures to enjoy that are different from what we’ve been doing all year round?
Earned Runs suggests that to fill a ‘training-hole’ you consider planning activities that represent ‘challenges’ to your usual routine.
For example, if summers are usually spent training for a yet another long-distance goal race that’s months away in early fall, use 2018 instead to run/ walk frequently in a series of fun vacation-style 5Ks and 10Ks. Train just hard enough to be prepared, after summer, to build-up to that longer goal race in the mid-to-late fall. Follow a relaxed schedule that allows you to compete at those short race distances and enjoy the special places you visit. Search for scenic small town events with fewer rather than larger participant numbers.
Or, train for a middle-distance bicycle tour or hiking adventure. Attempt to become a morning runner, if night time, after- work or school runs are becoming difficult to make. Join a running group that regularly holds social runs. Take strength workouts to the beach or park, in the hours of the day before the crowds arrive; bring a few different weight dumbbells and use benches and picnic tables to perform various exercises.
To simultaneously fill a reading-hole’, try audible books. You can listen as you run, hike, cycle, or exercise. The “Game of Thrones” books by George R.R. Martin contain so much more intrigue and detail than the HBO series; it will prepare you for the new season that starts in July. Let the famous reader Jim Dale take you through all the Harry Potter books. “Read” the classics of Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and Twain this summer.
Just as in your exercise life, you can challenge your entertainment routine as well.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
NOTE: Earned Runs will highlight several 2018 SUMMER CHALLENGES that might appeal to the kid in you that still wants summer to be special and magical. There will be posts soon to help start your planning.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. In 1978 I began participating in 10K road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health and longevity.
New! Search Box
Earned Runs is now searchable! Check it out...