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Making a comeback? It must be earned

Earning your comeback

Earning a comeback is hard work

Earning your comeback means getting out there for the training sessions you don’t feel like doing, when you feel slow and heavy doing them! Earning your comeback means training up with the weather sucks, when it’s cold, snowy, rainy, dark, windy, hot, humid or some other condition that makes it all too easy for you blow off the session based on the weather.

Remember, it’s the hard days that count, not the easy days. But how do we get through those hard days? Even better, how do we get the motivation to even show up for the hard days? Finding this in yourself is the key to successfully preparing for a big event, or simply keeping yourself motivated enough to achieve your health and fitness goals.

I filmed this short motivational message moments after finishing my first track workout in a LONG time and in the early days of my comeback to ultra running after an 8-year pause from competition.


Embracing the suck

Here’s what I had to say …

I’m out here on this beautiful Swiss day in January doing some comeback training.

How does comeback training feel? It sucks! My ego is taking a bruising.

I’m out doing 800 meter repeats today and my times are a minute slower than they were eight years ago in the peak of my marathon training.


It’s about today, not race day

My first marathon in eight years is in three months, but I know if I’m not out training today, doing what I’m supposed to be doing today, I’m going to blow that day in three months. I’ve got my first big ultra marathon in six months. I know it’s not about what happens on the race day, but about what you do out on days like THIS, especially when you feel heavy and you feel slow, and you look at your watch and you see the numbers and it tells you that you’re heavy and you’re slow. But I know if I put the work in now, I’m not going to be as heavy when race day gets here.

I’m not going to be a slow.

I’m going to get that Fitness back.

You’ve got to keep that thought in your mind.

You can’t dwell on how bad the ego feels feels when you’re trying to rebuild yourself, restart your fitness and get back to where you were before your peak or get to a new peak altogether.

Smile at adversity

I had to smile when I saw that the weather kind of sucked today. I thought, it is a perfect day to get out to the track and do some training, to get in the pain dojo, to feel a little bit of hurt. And it’s done now and there’s more snow coming in now I can just run for fun — it doesn’t have to hurt so much!

If you’re chasing down your own comeback, just MOVE.

Get out there and do the training sessions!

Especially do the training sessions that you don’t want to do — the ones that are putting you out of your comfort zone — the ones that are maybe reminding you that you’re not where you used to be with your fitness. And just remember–those are the ones where you are earning that next level.

It’s not the easy days, it’s the hard days that matter the most.

Now get out there and train!

— Coach Jeff


p.s. In Chapter 13 of Flow State Runner, I cover Racing and explain a menu to consider when planning your race calendar and subsequent priorities. This menu includes the categories of Moonshot, Everest, Apprentice, and Walk-in-the-Park. My comeback this year is with an Everest race, the mountainous Eiger Ultra Trail in the Swiss Alps. (101KM and 6700 meters of elevation).

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