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Have you taken the pause in life to reflect on the frequency you do something? Do you train every day? Do you train several times a week? How often do you rest, including taking several days off on a regular basis? How often do you participate in some sort of race? When you see and read about ultra endurance athletes performing some super human feat like multiple marathons or triathlons, do you feel compelled to do more than what you currently do? If so, and if you were to give yourself the gift of time to reflect, what would you see? Would you accept it?
Several years ago, I made the commitment to focus on one race yearly – the ITU Cross Tri World Championship. Other than Nationals which are a requirement to qualify for Team USA and the WC, all other races are somewhat meaningless to me. That said, no special preparations are made, including tapering, and no added stress. They are just purely for training and fun. This also means, I do very few. Perhaps 3-4 and these are either Sprint or Olympic distances, not half Ironman, or Ironman. For variety and skills development, along with pure zaniness, I like to throw in cyclocross and mountain bike racing. While my physical, emotional, and bank accounts grow with deposits, other athletes I know are racing as if the food on their tables depends on it.
Many triathletes smitten with Ironman fever, dream of glowing with the punishment Kona will dole out. Most will target a qualifying race which has the slots and course that should favor them. However, I see all too often disappointment. This I attribute to trying to do too much, not getting focused for the Big Show, thus leaving too much to unreliable friends like Hope and Luck. Then there are “new friends” like the Social Media apps, that love to be distractions and suck energy. Remember, QOMs, KOMs, etc., are meaningless in training, and totally meaningless in a triathlon. All that matters is when your chest crosses the finish line.
During the early months of the year, your images and thoughts will be more abstract. However, as you conduct your research of the course and data, looking at videos, Google Maps, images, and as your training plan develops with laser focus, the images and even dreams will become very real. A couple months out, you will be able to perfectly visualize yourself executing your race day plan on the course. Even the events and motions of your travel will seem real. During the months of prep you will have developed an acumen for the weather, food, culture, environment, people, etc. Very little, if anything, will be a surprise.
Perhaps a new resolution you can try for 2017 and forward,
“I will do one thing really, really well this year. It will be my Big Show.”
Then, when the time comes, Hope is cheering you on, eating popcorn, and Luck is riding on your handlebars hooting into the wind.
If there is anything society has come to realize over the last century, it is that women are just as powerful, smart, ambitious, and capable as men. And while society as a whole is still catching up as far as true equality, the facts are evident when you look at some of the most incredible and influential people today.
When it comes to fitness, however, men and women are not the same. The natural, physiological differences necessitate unique approaches to achieve optimal results. While the fundamental science behind attaining a shredded, lean physique is basically the same for both sexes, the exact steps and application require careful consideration.
One thing I've learned is that injuries can be great teachers. There are so many lessons to be learned from the injuries we experience. They force us to slow down and evaluate our bodies on a deeper level. Like many, I'm guilty of sometimes taking my healthy days for granted. When we pick up an injury, we're suddenly motivated to learn everything we can about that specific injury. We're also dedicated to the necessary rehab it will take to overcome the injury and strengthen our weak areas.
As with many injuries, I've learned there are no "quick fixes" for my stubborn Achilles. Over the years, I've also learned there are no "get fit quickly" schemes.