Sunday, March 27, 2011

Train Harder, Train Smarter

Building distance and speed at the same time is a difficult task to manage.  Training your body to handle the distance of 26.2 or 70.3 is no small feat.  Managing your fuel(diet), training, personal life, and school/work life can get difficult.  Developing a plan is the first step to success.  I have had a plan week by week and month by month.  This plan and the "morning" routine of it has gotten a little stale - this is where train smarter comes into play.

I became so used to my usual morning run and swim before school.  Gradually I added intervals to the swim part and different distances to make it more exciting.  The run has been the same now for a little over a year.  This week I am going to change the Wednesday morning 3 mile run to a tempo run.  I used to do weekly fartleks during the college days - but those are as close as I've come to a tempo run.  It'll be a constant push, it will be uncomfortable, and it will probably hurt.  But when it's done I'll feel great and be better for it.

Do you include any specific training runs in your workouts or do you just run?

Training smarter is not just about adding miles so I can put them in the log and say I did it.  It's about adding quality workouts, in all 3 disciplines as well as taking proper rest so that I get the best out of every workout.  I had the privilege of listening to Karen Smyers (she's won six national titles, three world championships, and the Ironman) at the MultiSport Expo Today.  She addressed how Multi-sport is a lifestyle but you need balance in your life.  Whatever you are doing - be in the present, in the moment with it.  As athlete's who are constantly thinking about the next workout or race it's hard to enjoy the time we have away from training.  It is important to enjoy time with your family, friends, enjoying other hobbies.

All to often athlete's identify themselves by their sport, so what happens when you are injured, sick, or sidelined for any other reason?  A young woman was present at the 2 seminars I attended at the expo and she was also at the Psychology of Injury lecture I attended at Sport and Spinal PT a few weeks ago.  She was asking everyone to address the psychology of injury and what to do when sidelined for a x-amount of time and not being able to run.  She spoke about her chronic injury at the SSPT lecture so I knew today what was going on, and recognized her right away.  She's searching for an answer - a quick "do this" answer.  When trials and tribulations set you back use them to fuel your fire, listen to the professionals you choose to see - if they tell you to quit your sport fire them and find someone who will help you get back to your sport, and use them to work on your weaknesses both in sport and life.

Have you had any chronic injuries that have set you back?  How did you handle them?

Injuries happen when we don't have a plan.  Overtraining and undertraining happen when we don't have a plan.  So take care of your body and train harder, train smarter.

In excitement for this year's Augusta 70.3 - "Once you're on the course in any of these races, you're going to have the challenge of your lifetime".  I greet this challenge with open arms.

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