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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.

I am an NCTJ qualified journalist and copywriter with a year’s worth of experience as a local hack, and just under two years’ of experience working in the marketing department for a highstreet retailer. I currently work at Cycling Weekly, previous to this I was the editor at Total Women's Cycling. I do a little freelance writing alongside my job, and have written for Runner’s World, Triathlete’s World, Sussex Sport, Basingstoke Gazette newspaper, the Brighton Argus, Steve Hart Photography and 2LK Design. I blog to record the activities in my life which I don’t want to forget when I’m old and wrinkly (let’s hope the internet never melts down – but it seems safer than a notebook) – to let old friends and family know what I’m up to, and because I enjoy playing with words. I’m always looking for new projects – and you can email me should you ever need someone with an energetic passion for word doodling. Email: michelle.arthurs@gmail.com Twitter: @RideWriteRepeat Instagram: @RideWriteRepeat

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