Olympian’s, Shift Work and the Plight of the middle class runner

Yep that's a Lactic Pain Face right there

Yep that’s a Lactic Pain Face right there

A rollercoaster…yep that’s it that’s how I would describe my training of late…a rollercoaster!

With more ups, downs and twists than I care to remember, training over the last 4 or so weeks has gone from awesome (coming off the back of that big 100k/6000mv week) to non existent, to resurgent…to non existent again. To be honest starting a new job with 12hr rotating shifts, a waning motivation level and the blistering heat of one of the hottest Gold Coast summers on record hasn’t exactly helped.

At times, as I stood blankly starring into the mirror at 4am with less than 3hrs sleep, it had me asking…… can it be done? I mean really…..can one train and perform at an elite level whilst juggling the work responsibility and family commitments of the average middle class family?? It’s a question that had stumped me for the last few weeks and unnecessarily so, for the answer was always right in front of me…..priorities.

Of course it can be done plenty of others do it! Although each individual has a slightly different set of conditions the application of the solution is the same….prioritize what is important and invest your time where its needed and where it will best benefit the goal outcome (just make sure family is always #1) . As simple as it sounds it took my slow old brain nearly 3 weeks to figure that out!

However the plight of the last 4 weeks hasn’t been all doom and gloom there was some rays of sunshine. I raced in a short 10km local Cross Country race and placed 3rd. Now usually 3rd in  my local trail 10k isn’t something I celebrate too much, don’t get me wrong we have some great local competition here on the coast but the talent pool is still pretty shallow at these types of events. This race however was different.

During the ill-fated HK50km leading out Yan Longfei (new HK100k record holder) during the first half of the race.

During the ill-fated HK50km leading out Yan Longfei (new HK100k record holder) during the first half of the race.

As I was getting my daughter ready and packing all things baby into the car to head to the race I got a txt…..”Jackson Elliot and Courtney Atkinson just signed up for the 10km, hope you packed your fast legs” Hmm I thought this is going to hurt!!!

Jackson Elliot with a PB of 29min/10k usually sticks to the road and is pretty much the fastest guy on the coast (excluding one Mr Shelly that is)  and Courtney Atkinson is an Olympic freaking Triathlete!

To save a lot of curse words and bang on about lactic enduced vomit Jackson won, Courtney 2nd and Me in 3rd only 2min off the pace, which given my current form (which was devout of all speed) and their insane capacity to run sub 3min k’s  I was more than chuffed with!!

So now armed with some more motivation, a clear set of priorities and a job to pay the bills I feel confident that sometime soon (with some work) I will be back in some killer form on road, trail and SKY.

Training last few weeks.

Week 1 -38km

Week 2- 34km

Week 3 – 90km (race)

Week 4- 67km



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