Anyone who reads a fair amount of my mindless blogging will know I tend to keep it a bit surfacey. At least I hope you do, and I hope I do. The key is never to tell the world online what you wouldn’t tell it face to face – simples.

However, of course training is something the body does when powered by the mind, so if the mind is a bit scrambled, so too is the body. It only ever does what the brain tells it to, so I can’t very well ignore significant life events and call myself an honest blogger.

On Saturday I decided to end the relationship with LB (lovely boyfriend) which has kept me, probably very safe and happy, for the last 3.5 years. He is lovely but I suppose I can’t really refer to him as ‘L’ so he can stay LB for the duration of the post.

Early on this week I learnt it is fully possible to cry in a swimming pool with goggles on, did you know that? Learn something new every day, don’t you.

I told coach about the situation via text, and added ‘training is about to become either very compulsive, or very lax – probably the former’.

You see, the worse life is, the more I want to keep busy. Her reply was quite simple – sometimes it is good to have a distraction other than training.

I don’t want to sound heartless in turning a matter of the heart into a training lesson. There is obviously more to it, but as I said – computor to computor/face to face rule still applies.

I chewed coaches reply over in my head on a bike ride and came to a few questions, hopefully followed by conclusions. If you use training to distract you from life, then how can you concentrate on the training? It simply becomes a means of keeping the limbs occupied and brain tied up in controlling them. It certainly won’t make you a better athlete.

There is nothing wrong with using emotion to push through a session, having a pre race song (TTs = Duality, Slipknot – no, I never did grow out of being 15..) or racing on a feeling.

But you can’t use training to forget about everything else, it needs to be mindful and planned and precise.

So, that is my lesson: deal with problems first and training second. Look after your brain and your body will look after itself.

When you pull yourself out if bed in the morning for a run in the pouring rain, it isn’t the body that has won because it got outside – it is the brain that got you there.

A strong body is only half of a strong athlete, the rest of it comes through determination, drive and a good helping of motivation. It comes from being purposful and knowing what you are doing and why you are doing it – not training because it feels better than doing nothing.

And most of all – on a lighter note – don’t ever try crying with goggles on. It just looks silly.

(and yes – I know I’ll be fine, just don’t ask me if i’m fine right now.)

Published by michellearthurs

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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