5 Struggles Trackletes Have During Base Season Training
September 15, 2014
Well, I’m back into the full swing of things in terms of training and although I’m loving every second, there’s definitely been some associated hardships! The more I talk with friends and teammates, the more I realize that there are a few universal struggles that us trackletes experience during the base season. Luckily, it doesn’t take long before we relearn the tracklete lifestyle and the struggles don’t seem quite so real!
1. Intense fatigue….. during the warm-up. This is the struggle that I always dread the most. I don’t think there’s anything that can make me feel more unathletic than being full on, hunched over, oh-wow-I-feel-like-I-just-ran-a-marathon breathing after an 800m jog warm up. Drills that felt like second nature a few weeks ago suddenly feel awkward and difficult, and there’s a certain feeling of shame that accompanies the fatigue. I feel self conscious of the fact that I’m breathing like a maniac and sweating profusely and yet, this is only the prelude. Luckily, the lungs don’t take long to get back, and pretty soon we can all proceed into our actual workouts without already feeling like we just did one.
2. Learning to eat like an athlete again. It’s a tough transition from pancakes for breakfast, pizza for lunch, and… pizza for dinner, back to a nutritious, wholesome diet that will properly fuel our bodies. Bananas and peanut butter have replaced my salt and vinegar chips, cauliflower rice has replaced my pizza pockets, water has replaced my wine. It’s rough – but obviously worth it. It never fails to amaze me how much better I feel in every aspect once I start eating well again. Overall, of course we all know we shouldn’t eat half the things we do during the off-season. But seriously, has anyone ever tried a President’s Choice molten lava cake? Irresistible.
3. Getting reaccustomed to that heaping laundry basket. Is this just me? Ever notice how much more laundry you need to do when you’re in training? Each day requires multiple shirts, multiple pairs of shorts, a seemingly endless amount of socks. Laundry seems like a rare occurrence during the off-season (I guess that comes with rarely breaking a sweat). These days, if I have enough pairs of socks in my drawer to get me through the day then life is good!
4. That chilling fear to get out of bed in the morning. There’s no feeling quite like the morning after your first lift of base season training. You roll over, sit up, prepare to put your feet on the ground and say a silent prayer to the track heavens. Dead lifts – have fun walking. Squats? Oh, you have to the bathroom? Good luck with that. Shoulder press? Hope you’re not planning on shampooing your hair for the next week because holding those arms above your head for an extended period of time is not happening. Admittedly, I do like this soreness because it’s the nice reminder of a workout well done. But, the performance of every day activities the first few weeks of base season is certainly a struggle that trackletes are all too familiar with.
5. Relearning time management. For student-athletes especially, the transition back into training can be pretty overwhelming at first. Spending my day watching seven straight hours of quality shows online such as the Bachelor is no longer a viable option. We go from not having much to fill our days during the off-season, to suddenly having not only practices, but classes as well. I felt pretty bored for most of August – at times I was totally unsure what to do with myself, but now I’m scrambling through my day trying not to forget anything! It’s a routine I’m always happy to get back into – but it definitely takes a few weeks to get used to!
Of course, these struggles are rather trivial in the grand scheme of things – but they are always an alarming “welcome back to the track world” dose of reality/slap in the face. Best of luck to everyone with their base season training!