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Can you train for a PR while still having a gentle relationship with exercise?

So today's post is less of a lesson and more of a journal entry - more so me spilling my heart out to you, my dear friend.

As 2021 approaches and I have more and more hope that real life races will be on the calendar next year (maybe I'm wrong, but I rather remain optimistic, thank ya very much)... I am getting super excited about racing a marathon again.

I have not conquered that distance since 2015...and back then I was in the throws of super disordered eating and a very unhealthy relationship with exercise. And I have to admit that facing that distance again kind of brings up some scary feelings for me...

You have to be committed 100% when you're training for a marathon. Your social life comes second to the need to sleep, rest, train and fuel in a way that supports the superhuman endeavor of training for 26.2 miles. And while my relationship with my body, food and fitness has healed SO insanely much in the last five years... I feel nervous about committing myself to a 26.2 mile training plan. Will it awaken the unhealthy obsessions with food? With movement? Will the inevitable puffiness of carb loading and hydration awaken mean body thoughts?

Am I healed enough to tackle the marathon?

Now... don't get me wrong. I am excited to take on the challenge (or I would not be considering it!). I think this experience will help me SO much when I'm working with my virtual clients who are on a similar journey to recovery while training for races. I love that I understand SO much about my clients' journeys, and while I've raced so many half marathons while recovered.. and without awakening those unhealthy behaviors.. I've always sort of "taken to" half marathon training easily. The marathon scares me, thrills me, makes me feel both powerful and small at the same time. I can't wait to take it on again with my nourished body and my kickass nutrition strategy.

So what are some things that I'll do differently during my 2021 Marathon Training Cycle??

  1. No fasted long runs. Yes, there's literature that the OCCASIONAL fasted long run may be advantageous to help with switching between using fat and carb for fuel... but I don't trust myself (at this point) to implement it.

  2. No low carb meals. I mean, I never do this anyway nowadays, but I was obsessed with carb cycling back in 2015.

  3. I really understand electrolyte and sports hydration practices now - so I'll nail thisss which is something I'm not sure I was doing in 2015.

  4. I'm not going to lift heavy. This was clearly my disordered brain in action in 2015. How I even attempted to balance heavy lifting with the mileage of a marathon training schedule is beyond me. That said, I'd love to set the intention of doing 2x 20 minute full body workouts using the Peloton App. I am Jess Simm's biggest fan.

  5. My easy runs are gona be easyyyyyy peasy lemon squeezey. No more "black hole running" where all my runs are a grade of kind-of-hard and I never take it easy, and never REALLY push the pace. Low heart rate training has been freakin' life changing.

ANYWAY, if you can relate to this.. I'd love for you to comment below and let me know. Or... if you're a female athlete looking to heal from your unhealthy obsession with food, your fear of food and learn how to fuel your performance... consider applying for my Virtual Nutrition Coaching Program. My Small Group Coaching Program, Food Freedom for Female Athletes, starts January 11... and we are already HALF way full with amazing athletes who are anxious to learn more about why FOOD is OUR FRIEND and helps us fuel our performance.

Thanks for listening, friend. Appreciate you!!!


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