Know When To Shut Down Your Season
Sometimes it’s OK to face the facts and realize that you may need to end your racing season early if you are emotionally drained. Hartmann, who was self-coached going into last year’s cancelled New York City Marathon, uses himself as an example.
“A lot of onlookers questioned why I didn’t race a fall or winter marathon after the cancellation,” he says. “I made the decision to cut my season short, and not race a winter marathon after New York was cancelled because emotionally I was defeated.”
He goes on to point out that there is no sense in having an athlete toe the line if they have already shut it down mentally, or if they have talked themselves out of what they can physiologically accomplish. In other words, know your limits. Hartmann says he decided to put his efforts elsewhere for a few weeks — friends, family and the community — and when he returned to training, he felt refreshed and ready to go. Hudson contends that you have to afford yourself breaks throughout the year.
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“I have a lot of athletes that I train who don’t take a lot of long breaks, but they take some short time off. A week or five days seems to work well for them. They find that when it’s so hot, they are hitting their heads against the wall.”