Wednesday, October 23, 2013

St. George Training: Update #3

The past three weeks I have been living in some sort of dream. It's been eat, then train, then eat, then write training programs for my athletes and do work, then train, then eat, then Skype, then sleep, repeat...for some people this might sound much to boring, or lonely, or both. But I love it. There are definitely days when I think it would have been easier, less risky and much more profitable to work in a regular day job. But so long as I can scrape by doing something I love, I am going to do it. I just don't want to have any regrets.

So, now onto the important lessons I have learned during this training block so far:

(1) It is possible to get faster for each repeat when you are doing a set of 4 x 1000 in the pool, or to negative split a 30km run, or to hold a higher power in the last 90km of a 180km bike than in the first 90km. How? It's called pacing. Many people go out too hard, thinking "this is gonna be the breakthrough workout I've been hoping for, and I'm going to be able to hold 50W higher than my previous long ride". This is not the mindset to have...I would suggest starting out holding the same power that you averaged on your last ride of a similar distance, then, push the pace in the last half or last third of the workout. A lot of my long workouts have had this focus...I have started easy, then gradually increased the pace or the power as the workout goes on. It is extremely important to get a feel for proper pacing when doing long workouts, to prevent burning out later on.

(2) Always have a growth mindset in training, because, just like life has its ups and down, so does a swim, bike or run! Having a growth mindset means being an optimist, searching for the positives, thinking of how take control and improve the situation. So that is the approach I have taken during this training block. If you just don't have the swimming arms in the pool, you can seize the opportunity to switch the focus to technique and drills...if you feel your legs are too heavy to run, you think about what good training it is to run when you don't feel good (assuming you can keep proper technique)...if your forgot your sunglasses on a bike ride, well, your sunglasses might fall off in a race, so you use it as a new experience! :)

(3) A 7.5hr training day doesn't feel quite as bad the second time around! After last week's longest ride ever, which I barely managed to descend (from low zone 2 in the first half to high zone 2 in the second half), I felt like death. I could barely muster up the energy to head out for a run afterwards. The run was less than epic at 8 minutes/mile pace...However, yesterday I nailed my power targets on the bike (which was 20km longer) and then ran at a 7:23/mile pace off the bike! I was still pretty dead at the end, but I heard this quote from fellow WattsUp athlete, "It doesn't get any easier, you just get faster". And it's true!

(4) A random epiphany (there's going to be those during endless hours of training!): The bad decisions you make have more weight than the right decisions you make and the things that go wrong have more weight than the things that go right. And it's the same thing with could put in a million hours of training and preparation, but a moment or one poor decision can end it all. If you mess up your taper or nutrition, get sick or you suffer a mechanical problem or you ends your race.

Well...that's all for now :)

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