Looking back at over 10 years of training and racing, I must admit I have done some pretty “crazy” things in training. Epic Camps, back to back races and challenge workouts in extreme conditions are all notable entries in my training diary. However, my most memorable block of training was in October of 2011 when I spent a month living and training on Mount Lemmon.
When I was asked by Endurance Corner’s editor to share the lessons I learned this year, I’ll admit I didn’t know where to start. Moving cities, trading employment for self-employment and turning a hobby into a career all at the same time made for quite the education. Full-time endurance coaching would seem to be ideal for training, but the transition period is an interesting one. Here are a few of the most notable and surprising lessons I learned in 2012.
Addressing weaknesses is a tricky thing. Once identified, it is tempting to either fight them like a gladiator or avoid dealing with them altogether. The latter approach will ensure weaknesses remain so, while the former is likely to erode strengths and lead to burnout. I know this to be true because I have tried each of these strategies!
Like many kids growing up, I participated in Boy Scouts. I learned many valuable skills from that program, but if there was one take-away lesson I remembered, it was their famous tag line to “be prepared." The value of this simple statement is particularly noticeable during race week.
These days, endurance athletes have an incredible variety of race day sports nutrition products from which to choose. Drinks, bars, gels, blocks, and beans are just some of the products on the market that help deliver carbohydrates, electrolytes, and sometimes protein to bodies in motion. There is still, however, some “real food” options that work very well for training and racing. One of my favourites is the baked potato.
I love to strategize, and like many triathletes, I have dreamed up countless ways to out-think the competition on race day. However I know deep down that time spent strategizing is almost always better spent improving my fitness. Luckily, there is a way to do both at the same time: the race simulation.