Sun, wonderful sun! What a difference a little vitamin D can make. We have been at Wolff-Wear Swimrun camp for just 3 days, but have managed many more kilometers already than in a typical week. It is amazing how much the body is able to recover between sessions when you don’t have the stresses of everyday life on top of the training.
It has been such a joy to watch Johan doing a great job leading running sessions and providing swimrun guidance to all of the excited beginners. The other coaches at the camp are the incredibly strong mixed-team Helen Maalinn and Andrew Maclean, who fought side-by-side with us at the end of ÖtillÖ last year. A lot of the focus of the camp is helping the participants find comfort in their swimrun gear and in open water. The beautiful weather and calm waters have certainly helped to make it a pleasurable start for everyone.
As I have written before, the winter has been pretty tough. I had symptoms of over-training during the late fall and took all of January off to let my body recover. Trying to get back in the flow of training in February and March was much more difficult than I had anticipated. Even if my body had rested, I was still feeling far from positive towards training. As a result, my form has improved at a snail’s pace despite support from a great coach and lots of others around me (especially Johan). I was nervous and almost a little sad about coming to the training camp again this year knowing that my physical form was so much better when I arrived here last year. I wasn’t even sure if I should join in on any training or if I should just take a week on the beach to work on my tan, but it has thus far been what I needed to find some joy in training again.
On the first day, the two-hour pool session felt like the most fun thing I had done all year. For the first time I ran intervals and forgot about how fast I used to be able to run and instead just enjoyed running. I woke up on day two expecting to feel exhausted, but instead felt strong and was able to do it all over again. Today is day 3 and despite that I feel good I have taken a rest day to make sure that I don’t over-do things. Plus, my feet are quite sore after lots of running in the sand! I know from experience that this heals quickly if I let it and becomes a painful inflammation if I don’t.
I am nervously looking forward to what the next few days of training will hold. After so many months of negative feelings surrounding my training I am still not ready to trust that my body is ”back”, but am very happy to see a glimmer of strength and joy in training again. I also know that it is much better for me to go to a new place with my training rather than to go back to where I have been for so many years; pushing through session after session without adequate rest. Time to see what my body can do if I focus on recovery and put my training goals in perspective with other priorities in life!