August 17, 2010

Find the flow…


Rushing down the singletrack at Contermanskloof a few weekends ago I felt it for the first time since Ironman South Africa.

The flow was there.

It takes months to cultivate, hours of technique perfection and a whole heap of aerobic economy but it was there. I felt it, unmistakably. It’s effortless, gliding through the trails, up the hills and over the rocky sections. The flow is an essential part of endurance sport, of any sport. Call it the purple patch, call it “form” or call it whatever you want, you will know it when its there and be searching for it everywhere when its gone.

Today I went for a lunch run to get some heat adaptation going. The first 25min were uphill on tired legs from gym last night. Transbaviaans still fresh in my legs. But once again I felt it on the way back. The flow was there on the drag through Vredehoek on the way home, 35min into the run. I felt, to be honest, like a beautiful runner. Like my back was upright, my stride slightly forward and my legs moving powerfully in a poetic motion. It felt amazing. I was smiling ear to ear. I didn’t want it to stop.

The flow conquers all things in my life. Work stress – out the window. Financial stress (add a 4 week trip to Hawaii on top of paying for Sani2c which is in May 2011 and 2 half IM races in August 2011 now and yes, there is plenty financial strain going on) – crushed under my fleet footed stride back towards the gym. The flow had me going perfectly poised in the moment where nothing else mattered. I could not have cared about anything else in that moment. There was perfect control, perfect form and the soup was really good. The soup being the perfect mix of training, obviously.

It takes weeks, months of consistent training for the flow to appear, so don’t stop just short of where it will come. It means going out there and training when everyone may be asleep, when it’s too cold, when others are too tired.

Of course, its completely worth it. There is no recipe for achieving the flow. Learn to listen to your body and always push a little beyond where it says “whoooooooaaaaaa!!”

One Comment on “Find the flow…

August 17, 2010 at 5:06 pm

Glad to hear the flow is back.
I would be interested to see how your training has gone since you last loaded your training schedule some weeks back.
It would make for an interesting read and a little inspiration for us average joes


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