Training Tips

I would like to start off this week by thanking everyone for the positive feedback from last week’s blog! You folks rock!

Training is the blessing, the grind, the sweat and, even the glory between the races, the game or whatever is the object of the long hours of your training.  It can take you to levels of discomfort (mentally/physically) that you never wanted to go.  Most people can find the formula that works best for them. Training is likely to be a reoccurring topic in this blog.

I have been putting my work boots on lately and have been training for Around the Bay (ATB).  ATB is a 30km road race set in Hamilton, Ontario.  Rich in history, it was first run in 1894. The course has some challenging inclines at the end of the race, very similar to the Boston Marathon. I had a solid race last year and am hoping for equal performance this year.

Some of the lessons I have learned/learning/been told to learn from training are as follows. First, not every session is going to be a “lights out”, “rock star“ performance. Like The Hip says, “It can’t be Nashville every night.” There are going to be days when you feel you shouldn’t have gotten out of bed.  And there will be days you wish would never end.  You need to learn that there is a balance and often a fine line.  Too much of one thing and you’re injured, not enough of one thing and you’re not progressing.  It’s finding the formula that works best for you. Second, be your own favourite training partner.  I train alone 99% of the time. Learn to love being alone if you have to be.  It’s an amazing time for self-discovery and reflection. If you can’t push yourself to get out the door, it is going to be harder when you have to dig deep in races. Third tip is to log every mile and work out.  It’s an amazing tool discover what has worked and what needs to be improved.

I am incorporating some new philosophies into my 2014 training.  There is value in doing core training and there is value in resting. If your body is always being asked to work at full throttle, this may affect the body’s ability to recover from difficult workouts. As a result, you may not be able to achieve the results you were looking for. Lastly, along with the core, I am including strength training. I am noticing that this has become a hot topic in running magazines and on Twitter (good time for a plug -check me out @fluentstep).  Strength training is a great addition if your training volume isn’t too high or you aren’t doing 3 hard workouts per week.  Before starting, it is best to talk to credible sources about proper workout technics so that you do not over train or do exercises that will hurt you. I have poor hamstring mobility, so I have been working to lengthen and strengthen them. You won’t see me doing heavy weight dead lifts because my body can’t handle that yet.  If you get a chance, have a professional perform Fundamental Movement Screen to identify your soft spots and the best ways to harden up!

Last week’s training wasn’t anything magical. South Eastern Ontario’s winter has been brutal.  I have spent a lot of time indoors on the treadmill. I am surprised how mentally exhausting treadmill work is!  It takes a lot of concentration to run fast and stay focused, especially in a busy place.  Also, in the back of my mind I was thinking about  what would happen if I had a misstep or a slip! The “fight or flight” senses were working in over drive!

Well, those are my tips and tricks and a bit about how my training is going.  I will give you more specific next week.  Stay healthy, stay fit, set a goal and go for it!

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