Not being able to put words down on paper for weeks in fear of sounding like an idiot who should be training and not writing about it.
Practicing a disciplined routine has been the foundation for re forming some better training volumes for myself in recent months.
'Be consistent' has been ringing through my ears.. I have always known this but it has started to take on a new meaning
A big part of it is not rushing things. A lot more aerobic work, rediscovering that its ok to not be racing yourself all the time and looking for that big hit / see good numbers and satisfy where you are at. That game is only good until the wind blows and the house falls down.
Being consistent with specific workloads is really giving you a chance to have a successful season - To a degree its repetitious and sometimes boring but needs to be this way to notice adaptation.
I'm going to delve into 3 areas of consistency
- Where does consistency start / where does it come from?
- What consistency looks like - making it happen
- Physically and intuitively feeling the effects of consistency
Forming the foundations of Consistency / what holds you accountable
Driven by setting a goal that is bigger than yourself - A challenge that stretches you beyond your current physical and mental conditioning.
For some time there was frustration around a 7-8hr training week only seeming possible with the current landscape..not the 15-20 I used to enjoy. With that frustration came a challenge and project to be better.
Signing up for the Australian Alpine Ascent Feb 2020 has been a huge motivator for me - I've started building for it now.
We have a 3k swim / 113 Bike with 3200m of vert / 22 Run peaking at the highest point in Australia - Mt Kosciusko.
I'll firstly need to condition myself for the duration of the event and demands of climbing but then also add the lack of oxygen aspect to it.
We have a gnarley goal thats got me excited and inspired. The journey towards being a stronger Endurance Athlete
As we piece the puzzle together things need to progress not exponentially but via a gradual gradient.
Knowing your why
I'm doing this for physical and mental health - I am working towards a stronger chassis that has become too familiar with lower back pain.
Boil it down further and i’m doing it for my family. I've always been a believer that I must grow strong in myself to the point where I am a proud role model for my future children.
Be empowered by what matters to you most.
I am so grateful for the time and effort the kids I coach give to me and how that motivates me to keep my chin up and practice what I preach.
I am motivated by the gift of time and time with my wife. Its not a huge amount we have available but discipline and planning creates time to be relaxed, talk and enjoy a break from the relentless (Enjoyable) nature of structure.
More of my ‘Why’
Being financially invested - Events like this cost. Entry, travel, time off work - Don't be a dick a be prepared - My wife and parents will be coming to support me and that is motivating for me to prepare the best I can.
What consistency takes / looks like
Find your KEY points week to week that help you maintain consistency - Prioritise time and identify tasks that allow you to maintain a flow week in week out. Considerations include
- Disciplined work structure - Maintaining tidy time frames to ensure tasks are completed with diligence
- Check in / check out / maintain- Setting up each day the night before....
- Recovery practices
- Sticking to time frames / windows
Some days getting home at 8pm...
Gone since 5am..unpack / repack - knowing I have to be up again at 430am and be prepared for 1-2 training sessions + work. Hangry.......it gets tiresome. I need to eat dinner/shower/ stretch and get myself into a readiness for sleep.
Setting training goals / Reporting to yourself every week.
I complete a weekly report for myself each week that allows me to reflect and set goals for the next week of training. I listen to my intuition and know what the needs are and how to achieve that.
Most of the times I do things well / some times it gives me motivation to be better. All the time / over time my new bare arse minimums have picked back up to levels I used to do when I was only working a 4 days a week. Now with a combined workload of 45 Hrs a week I'm figuring out how to make it happen.
Consistency is - Waking up some days and 'Not feeling it', less than flash. 10/10 times I have been able to stand up and execute a session as required. Emotions often lie or at least need to be 'Exercised' .. I used to suffer from bouts of ‘Depression’... I used to be a victim to my emotions.
Still not a week goes by where I haven't started a session or 2 with back pain - Sometimes 8-9/10.... Blood flow rules. Praying helps. Doing the right recovery helps. Ignoring that first emotion helps.
Its interesting how one can shift the state of mind and body ... We get off the bike depleted, flat and depressed over the thought of running in such discomfort. You set foot and 20 seconds later your feeling great. Moving ok and back in control - That could have cast a shadow over the day / the next day..
I prepare for a morning run - Im in pain, Im complaining. Im sick of this . Why? its unfair. After 10 mins of this I decide this is all too familiar and theres hope on the other side.. I run a 10km tempo and do it easier than I have in a long time - It’s a good pace and felt great... what was with the pre run pain and emotion?
Consistency is practicing the positive action over and over until it becomes easier / natural. Be complacent in routine or a lack of action and you'll quickly find a dive in progression.
The legs are swinging through freely, they feel lighter… They are sore but strong.
The mind knows how to relax and let the engine run
Going farther in all disciples - I’m not phased by time or fearful i’ll fall in a heap… Aerobic fitness up.
I also refer to the ‘Aerobic sponge’ effect. This means you have build up the ability to let rip with some hard efforts and carry on beyond that. Little aerobic base might allow a good initial hard hit but then thats fuel and system DONE. Everything thats going on inside with aerobic capacity will improve if you do the work - Fat utilisation, oxygen utilisation and muscular activation.
New stimulus Saturday long rides and bricks -
Week 1 - 1st hour was good then….sore, flat.. left feeling defeated but motivated
Week 2 - A little better/stronger/ farther
Week 3 - Light it up / big session start to finish
Week 4 - A little less than stellar but still good volume and the weeks mix meant less freshness. But backed up with another big day to follow. Total volume up.
Week 5 - Another solid ride and a shift in mindset for a more challenging run off the bike - All feeling easier to go longer. Next day back up with longest run - Time / Elevation and duration.
Sometimes you just have to let yourself move to improve.
Treadmill- Pace interval work up to LTHR
Week 1 Test - 2km until LTHR
Week 2 - intervals less than the goal - Left beat up muscularly
Week 3 - Similar but a tad farther
Week 4 - A lot better - + 30% progress
Week 5 - Consolidated + 5% improvement
Week 6 - Re Test - 5Km Achieved and still sub 4 BPM LTHR - Clear indication pace has become easier
Swims - Moving from pace work to distance - Straight 1000 was the longest haul for a while.
Week 1 - 6 x 500 Aerobic Threshold on 15 Sec rest
Week 2 - Straight 3000m @ Aerobic Threshold
Week 3 - 4 x 1K Aerobic Threshold - 30 Sec recoveries
The goal is to build this session up to 5km total volume and at least a 4K Straight swim through.
I hope this encourages some action to prepare for your best season