Swim. Bike. Run. 3NDURANCE.

Living to train or training to Live. I'll have to get back to you on that one.

Category: Training

Damage Control

Following up with last week’s post about being more flexible with training and life, I had my first little test this weekend. It was a busy wedding weekend and I have been absolutely swamped with work. Rather than trying to train through the weekend as I was accustomed to doing in the past, I decided to take it pretty easy. This way, I was able to have a good time and get some work out of the way as it would have been real rough trying to party, work and also train. I am sure that I would have fought through this week both stressed and tired. Instead, I am feeling relaxed and ready for a nice training week ahead.

In fact, this week begins a training block for IM 70.3 FL in late May. Along the way, I have Nautica South Beach (olympic distance) and a half-marathon in April. I am well rested and excited to start the first training block of the year. Following IM 70.3 FL, I plan to assess the situation and decide on a schedule for the second half of the year. This may or may not include the Chicago Marathon as I have already put my name into the lottery. I find out in a week whether I get a spot.

Advertisements

Best Life of my Shape

No, the title is not a typo. In fact, the title is my overriding goal this season.

Before I explain, let me back-track a bit and let you know how I got here. I spent 24 weeks of last year, from mid-May to late-October, training for the Great Floridian Ultra, an iron-distance triathlon. The workouts (also my job) consumed my early mornings, evenings and weekends. However, I also spent most of that time sluggish, stressed and generally suffering from low motivation.

The sad part is that sports have always been my outlet and something I can usually count on to lift my spirits. So, how did something I love doing become yet another stressful chore in life?  Well, I’ve been in triathlon since 2008 and I feel like I made a rookie mistake; Last year, I failed to take account of my life outside of triathlon.  I looked at my demands in triathlon and life as separate and distinct from one another. And I definitely paid the price.

This year, I want to get in the best shape of my life. However, the training and workouts can only get me so far. So in order to really peak, I need to make good decisions, outside of the training, that will give me the greatest benefits. In order to do so, I am focusing on changing and monitoring a few things. First off, I think nutrition is one of the most important aspects that an athlete can focus on for improvement and that’s exactly what I have been doing in 2013 thus far; I am instilling good eating habits now so that I have a good system in place for when I am ready to increase the training. I am also making sure to lay a solid foundation early on this year so that I have a great base to work with when the volume increases.

New Year, New Goals

Chances are, you made a new year’s resolution, or several vaguely defined, “I wanna get in shape” and “eat healthier” type of resolutions. Unfortunately, those are the dangererous type of resolutions. Don’t kid yourself. That new gym routine may last a week or two, the healthier eating may last a few weeks longer but, in the end, you will return to your normal habits and routine. Why?

Goals, resolutions, benchmarks, aspirations, desires, targets or objectives; Its all semantics. Goals are concrete, resolutions are vague; Cliche, yet closer to the truth…

The main problem is that we fail to create a system of resolutions where we make slow, calculated progress. Of course, that would not be much fun because everyone wants sweeping change overnight with seemingly little effort. But, that is exactly the point, I doubt people really want to keep those New Year resolutions. To do so would require dedication, discipline and plain old hard work. In sticking to a resolution, you will meet roadblocks, setbacks, and obstacles that make you second guess your seemingly simple resolution. That’s just it, your vaguely defined resolution was the easy part. While it’s easy to make a resolution, its harder to implement and even harder yet to turn that resolution into a normal aspect of your everyday life.

Fortunately, you have not failed yet and there is still time to sit down and prepare an actual plan for progress towards your New Year resolution. First off, choose one or two resolutions to focus on, even better if they are complementary. Use the SMARTER criteria to actually define, plan, and measure progress towards your resolution. Make a schedule and keep records to measure your improvements, obstacles and accomplishments. Tell family and friends to get input, feedback and a solid network of support. Start now, you can thank me later!