Tin Can Mornings

Friday is ‘no training day.’ Where I would usually wake at 5.30, leave at six, be in the pool/gym/on bike by 6.30 – I instead leave at around 7 or 8am. As a reward, I find myself sitting in my car, staring into the gloomy half-light as glaring brake lights offend my eyes.

I hate traffic.
I just hate wasting time. It’s so bloody…. unproductive.
These were my thoughts as I sat in the petrol wasting, painfully slow tailback that has one emerging onto the hell-road that is the M25 in rush hour.

My attitude remained angry until I checked my CD collection, and put on the Clash.

Joe Strummer roared out of my speakers with all the lack lustre angst and ‘I can’t be arsed’ spirit that I remember worshipping in my teens. I suppose it reminded me who it was I used to be before everything became so damn busy.

Yes, sitting in traffic is annoying, and yes, if I could have the choice again, I would have got up earlier, skipped the tin-can confinement and spent my non-training morning relaxing with a newspaper, but the experiecne did serve to remind me that sometimes – just sometimes – you need to stop.

I’m reading Joe Friel’s The Triathletes Bible once again and thinking a lot of planning, building, and most importantly – recovery.

I tend to see recovery as an irritating inconvenience, if I’m feeling buzzy, and a time to be a total slob, if I’m feeling exhausted. What I need to do, I think, is change my attitude, and see recovery as just as much a part of training as swimming, biking and running. I need to take recon very a bit more seriously.

Recovery time is a time for active relaxation, not for passing out on the sofa and sleeping. If that sort of recovery is needed, more than a day is probably on the cards! Recovery needs to be about giving myself time to be more than a racehorse, more than a machine, and just be my damn self. An athlete who feels like they are on a never-ending treadmill of training, working and sleeping is one who is likely to fail. Not me, then.

Published by michellearthursbrennan

I'm an NCTJ Journalist and work at Cycling Weekly. Previous to this, I was the Editor at Total Women's Cycling. I've also dabbled in marketing and copywriting - having been Marketing Coordinator and Social Media/Content Editor at Evans Cycles. My first job was working on a local newspaper.  I've written for a variety of titles on a freelance basis, too. I got into cycling when I entered my first triathlon in 2010. I now race crits, road races, time trials, and do a lot of track training for not very much track racing.

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