For me the holidays is a time to reflect on the year and look ahead to decide on my goals for 2016. Aside from JWOC and selection for the Aus schools team I had little else on my plan for the year before heading south for New Years. But a month spent in the Wanaka area has shown me just how routine my Port Hills training has become, running the same trails every week. It has inspired me to look towards the the foothills of the Southern Alps and plan long missions to take me away from the routine and put some spontaneity and adventure back into my life. The likes of Goat Pass, the Wharfedale track (as an MTB ride), and the Mt Roy-Alpha Peak track that I ran a few days ago (Strava) are all possibilities that excite me. As well as these there are the smaller trips in Canterbury foothills like Mt Thomas, and Mt Grey that are well worth a day out to do.
Leaving my watch and heart rate monitor behind when I go out also gives me a sense of freedom to explore and have an adventure without being a slave to my pace times which is something that I didn’t realise I was doing. This year I have decided to get rid of some of the specific goals that I had last year such as burning 3500 calories per week and just have the fairly open goal of doing 300hrs of “training” by December 31st.
I think that the key to being a successful athlete is not about doing your training, it’s about enjoying your training. That’s a message that I want to keep in mind going forward and as a lesson for younger athletes who might not have encountered this issue yet.