After your last big race of the year, you know what’s coming….you try to hold on for dear life to all that hard-won fitness, but you know the email is coming from your coach. So, you cram in a few runs, enjoy those last really nice fall days on the bike and hit the pool. But you know it’s inevitable and the email comes…. “3 weeks off”. You’re like an addict going through withdrawal. Yet, you know deep down it’s necessary to lose it in order to get it back and then some. Logically, you know it’ll work, but the mind can play games! I’ll be slow, I’ll forget how to swim, I’ll lose my power on the bike. But, ask yourself this: what’s the worse thing that can happen? I bet there will be a little bit of silence after that question.
So, I will keep this short and sweet. Do what your coach says, that’s why you hired him/her. And, if you don’t trust them, and fight the plan, it’s time to move on. TRUST and submit to the plan. And STOP THINKING! Paralysis by analysis is rampant in this sport. We make it way more difficult than it is.
I recently met with someone who I will be starting to work with in December. He has a half marathon coming up in November and I said before I start working with you, I need you to take 2 weeks off after your last race. I noticed the panic in his face immediately. I get it!! But, as my friend Julia said “take the rest because once it’s on, it’s ON”. And now I will use this to segue into my next favorite topic: Running Shoes!! 🙂 Most notably, ON Cloud Running Shoes!!
I had been running in the Puma Faas 300. Great shoe and it fit into what I liked. Very lightweight with no stability features. You have to understand that this is coming from someone who was told I had to be in an orthotic and stability shoe. I was always injured. I got rid of the shoes and the orthotics and turns out I am fine. In fact, better off for having ditched them. But, ONto this shoe. It is not a gimmick. Team TBB is sponsored by On and I think that says a lot. While I was looking into this shoe, I posted a quick question on the Team TBB forum about them and got a resounding positive response from Brett Sutton. Enough for me.
I can tell right away if I will like a shoe or not, basically from the second I put it on. And these were a winner right off the bat. The shoes’ construction is by far the most thoughtful I have seen. It is extremely well made. It has plenty of room in the forefoot without being sloppy and loose.
It has a low heel to toe drop and there is just enough cushioning without it feeling like too much. I believe highly cushioned shoes make your tendons and muscles work a bit harder. So you’re probably wondering about the “clouds” on the bottom. This is what I love. It feels as if you’re landing on a softer surface, yet pushing off of a racing flat. The cushioning is there when you need it and not there when you don’t. Ingenious!
I got mine, the Cloud Racer, a few months before IM and planned on slowly getting used to them. I chose the Racer because I had only been running 100% of my runs in very lightweight shoes and personally did not find any reason to go heavier. I headed out for a long run and planned to do only a half hour and then go back to my old shoes. A half hour turned into an hour and hour turned into 2 and my legs and feet felt awesome. But, what really surprised me is how my legs felt the next day. They were not even remotely beat up after running 2.5 hours on contrete. My feet and calves felt great the next day. I was sold.
I usually go through a pair of shoes every 8-10 weeks depending on my mileage and I have not noticed any considerable wear yet on these. And, they are pretty much the first shoe I have not had to throw out after an Ironman. The upper and sole have held up beautifully. I can’t recommend this shoe enough. I hope to see more people wearing them and giving them a go. Well worth it and extremely well constructed.
Now….what to do with myself with 3 weeks off……..it’s only day 2, yikes! 🙂