Embracing the ups and downs of training

Published: Sat 30 Mar 2019

How has your winter training been? Thats the question posed by our Vice chair Jenny in an honest an open reflection on her winter training experience this year below. Jenny is training for Celtman this year and her reflections are a reminder that we don't take on challenges because they are easy. Training around normal life can be a challenge and along the journey sometimes we sometimes need to step back, rest up more and let the body adapt. It's also proof that encouragement and support go along way. Thanks for sharing Jenny!


"Sleet is pouring down and pelting me in the face, I am soaking, but I don’t care, because I am feeling joy and loving every moment of my run. This is winter training, and I have been finding it hard this year. My body has been feeling the cold more, my hands and feet are suffering on the bike. I can’t do the long winter rides and I feel defeated. A couple of weeks ago I head out on the bike, the second time that day. I cannot see out my glasses, because of the sleet on the outside and the tears on the inside. Despite training 6 days a week for months on end I feel I am not enough. This is a turning point, as I have reached a new low I have not felt before & I need to do something.

I decide to accept the new low, I embrace it, stop trying to cover it up. I share the challenging moment on strava and tell a few people about it. The empathy and positive spirit from others surprises me and gives me a much needed boost. Coach Ewan reduces my training a bit and I enjoy a couple of quieter weeks. I do not realise how much I need the extra rest. Again friends from the club keep my spirits up. They alter their own plans to join me in training sessions in the pool & on bike rides in foul weather. We go running. I welcome the sense of belonging I get from being part of the club and the difference this has made to my training this last few months when I have needed it the most.

I remind myself why I have chosen Celtman as my race this year. It is because it is near to home, in our terrain in North Scotland. This is our weather, our winter, and I am privileged to live and train here. I remember that we do not take on challenges because they are easy. There are days when we feel amazing and days when things do not go the way we planned. I am learning to ride the wave and embrace the ups and downs. I look forward to spring weather, feeling the warm sun again and long light evenings.. But until then I have decided to take every day as it comes, and enjoy just being outdoors."

Reflections of Jenny Clarke