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September 14, 2009

having a biiiiig picture

So hopefully you have read my post on Personal Planning. Not? Find it here. Have a read through and get the process started. For me, its a continuous process and this time of the year, I find its a great time to reflect and check on progress for the year, and make some vital tweaks so that you are able to power through the last 3 months of the year, whilst everyone else is waiting for holiday.

For me, the big picture is essential, and it’s why I love endurance sports so much. I have to say I have learnt more about life through my correct approach for endurance sports, than I ever did at varsity or in any job I have ever done.

I will admit to not training as hard as many other athletes out there. I know of guys who train 25 hours a week to go much slower than I do at Ironman. I often ask those guys/girls how much normal time they put into good habits (all Ironman time to me), like good eating, regular sleep, de-stressing, massage, recovery, etc.

How many athletes are training to eat sugar, or to win races?

How many athletes are training to a commitment of long term health and vitality?

I am the second type, and athletic prowess comes as a benefit from that. I spend quite a bit of time to eat right, sleep right and make the sacrifices to be able to recover session to session. In each session, there is but only so much you can do perfectly, and if I am tired, can’t focus (a result of many things mentioned above) and too hungry, then chances are, I will not get the benefit from the session, and to me, there is no point in just cruising through 25 hours of training per week. I would rather train 16-18 hours, and hit them with purpose and crush the important parts to each work-out.

So how much should you be training if you are training for wellness/vitality?

Gordo spoke about it this week, and reckons that if you can’t train without the sugar rushes in your diet, then you are pushing the limits. He reckons 20 years of training to reward yourself with sugar afterward would result in some long term health regrets?

Agreed. Slow Clap.

Then you have to add the control factor to your life, and endurance training and correct lifestyle choices are the key proponent to my ability to control my emotions, and my body. Essentially I train myself to deal with fatigue, mild hunger, and control the sessions with correct pacing, so that I finish strong (but considering the rest of the day) at every session.

Those principles translate to my diet, where I control my calories in a very systematic way which leaves me with loads of energy, keeps me healthy and fit, which are two different things totally.

This also relates well to my work, where I try to get as much done as possible in 4 days every week, so that I can have Fridays to myself, a very important part to my life (quiet, me-time). Working with control, pace and feeding myself every few hours in the day keeps me focused. I have also learnt when not to work i.e. when to take an hour break.

Ok before this gets too long… the basis of having a biiiig picture is to have a plan, to exercise control to power through the end of your daily, weekly, monthly and yearly plan, and to track your progress (slightly) obsessively, so you can benchmark.

Why?

because if you get it right, your goals will continuously grow, because you have NO idea of what your potential really is. I leant this from FROM Monday, from Gringo, from Ekhart Tolle, from my amazing parents, now that I am old enough to really understand their wisdom and from you, my readers. You are proof of it. I never believed this blog would get any bigger than my small circle of email friends.

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