I ran a marathon last weekend. It was nothing crazy – no PR, no insane finish where I collapsed over the finish line… it was the Walt Disney World Marathon, which meant I took lots of pictures (mostly blurry), saw tons of people dressed in costumes, and made a few runners really mad when I bee-lined across the course to get candy from a stranger.
While I tried to train for this marathon, I realized it was impossible to do while also training for roller derby. The long runs directly contradicted my intense strength routine, making my muscles overly fatigued and putting me at risk for injury.
Although I am a pretty avid runner, this marathon made me realize that I need to cut back on my running endeavors and stop signing up for races longer than 5-10K. I am an extremely competitive person, and if I am compromising both my derby performance and race performance by trying to train for both at the same time, it can become overly frustrating.
While you are planning your workout program or focusing on goals for the upcoming year, be realistic about where you will focus your training. Do not over-commit to physical endeavors unless you are ready to compromise your derby performance.
And as an uplifting fact for all of you (non-elite) endurance athletes: “significant age–related losses in endurance performance did not occur before the age of 50” (Aschwanden, C. Age Matters. Runners World, 2009).
So focus on derby while you are playing derby, and save those marathons for later.