80% of the time, go easy…. easy enough so you can exercise and talk at the same time. The other 20% go hard.. really hard. Push the envelope and stress yourself. Then give yourself enough rest afterwards.
The easiest way to hit a plateau as an athlete is to go too hard to build your efficient all-day engine, but not hard enough to really stress yourself.
Make training a habit. Make healthy diet a habit. Don’t get caught up in getting to the finish line. It’s going to take time and patience. Just keep doing the right things and the process will pay off. Doing the rights things for one day makes no difference, but doing one right thing for 100 days makes a big difference. Start slow and build up yourself over time.
Peak for your “A” events
Don’t try to do your best at 12 races per year. You can’t peak that often. You will need breaks and rest after big efforts. Focus on two or three “A” events or races per year. Space these out a bit. Use Base, Build, Peak, and Race training phases to peak at these “A” events and really try to do your absolute best. For “B” races, treat those as a good effort, but know you won’t be peaking for these and probably won’t have an “A” level performance. “C” races are basically the same as a hard workout. Those should be local and fun.
It’s probably better to not do too many races other than your “A” races. Use “B” races in your build phase and use those to work on your weaknesses.