September 7, 2010

Forcing consistency


The athletes who I coach know that I am a big lover of consistency. I am 100% into the concept. It teaches you discipline and makes it easier to stay in routine, taking some of the thought process out of training. There is merit in just doing your sessions almost without thinking at certain parts of the year. During base phase specifically I may make some of them run 30min for 30 days in a row, swim 3km for 30 days in a row or ride 60min indoors (with ME work) for 30 days in a row. Crazy and not high volume individually, but there is just something that comes out of a phase like that which lasts an entire season.

We are creatures of habit and consistency allows us to build good habits as well as remove the bad ones. It takes much longer to break a habit than build one, so often its more important to NOT be doing something than particularly doing something else. For myself, the following areas require the most effort to find consistency, but once its there and built in, they are quite easy to maintain.

1. Regular sleeping hours: I tend to want to watch my favorite shows at 9:30pm which means to bed at 11pm, which is far too late. I end up short on sleep and the rest falls apart. I am a far better human being if I get regular sleep.

2. Eating habits: Once I am on the food plan its pretty much always there, but its getting onto it that requires attention. If there is ice cream in the house, I will eat it EVERY day. Generally the start of any healthy eating period involves a few days of eating all the crap that’s around, followed by a few days of “penguining” the fridge, looking for crap that’s not there, followed by buying new, good food and the habit kicks in.

3. Cleaning consistency: When my living area is relatively neat (I am never 100% tidy to other people’s standards, I am just not that prioritised on it) it takes me 3-5min in the morning to clean, which is easy and voila, I feel better. When I let it slide, it takes me ages at the end of each week to get it done properly.

I have to admit that when those 3 things are good, I can pretty much be nice to people, train regularly and count on consistent energy levels. What are your 3? People with families will have totally different ones, I am sure.

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