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July 16, 2012

Fill your lake.

I have been fiddling, tweaking and trying a whole lot of different things lately. New toys, new techniques and new ways of thinking in approaching the basic idea of moving my body from point A to point B with as little effort (but as quickly) as possible.

Simple, not easy. I came across the following paragraphs:

When contemplating how best to build the specific preparation phase of your season, keep the following four points in mind.

Getting tired is the point of training. Your training program should be challenging. Following your most important workouts, it’s normal to be tired and/or sore for 12 to 36 hours. If you feel “nothing” then you can afford to bump the intensity and duration a bit. If you are experiencing persistent fatigue or muscle soreness then you are over doing it. Most of us have no trouble with this point – as highly motivated athletes, we are most often giving ourselves a little too much.

Get tired the right way. Each of us has a limited amount of recovery “points”. You want to use your recovery points the most effective way possible. This means that your fatigue should be generated in the most race specific method possible. Further, your most challenging sessions should address your greatest limiter. A 45-minute track session might be beneficial to you. However, is it the best way to use your recovery points?

Increase your recovery strategy in line with your training strategy. When you step up your training, you must step up your recovery. Injury, burn-out and illness are nearly always caused by a breakdown in recovery (flexibility, sleep or nutrition) rather than a specific training issue. The intelligent athlete uses as many recovery tricks as possible – healthy foods, naps, consistent sleep, massage, yoga and flexibility work. These items speed your recovery and enable you to tolerate more training. The faster you bounce back and the greater the stumuli, the greater the training effect.

Never sacrifice aerobic work for intensity. Steady paced, aerobic endurance training is the heart of endurance performance – it is the critical success factor for a solid bike split and being able to “run-the-run.” In the final weeks of A-race training, many athletes drop their core endurance sessions in favor of high intensity “race specific” interval sessions. The most race specific workout you can do for long course racing is your key endurance day. Your B- and C-priority races will give you plenty of higher intensity work.

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Those points are incredible. I cannot stress how important they are.

Now is the time of the year where athletes are frustrated. They are fed up with the weather, the cold, the darkness.

So they push a little harder in the sessions they actually manage to get to. This leads to niggles, to a compromised immune system and a tired head. So they feel a little depressed, rest 2 days and then hit it hard again for a few days. It makes them hate their jobs a little, and because they are sick and niggly they stay at home instead of drinking a beer with mates on Saturday night.

Stupidity is doing what again? Something about the same thing over and over?

We train to get tired. We train to learn about our bodies, surely. Not only how to lie to ourselves about how tired we are but admit that we are tired, learn what the niggles mean, what the emotional responses are to the physical stimulus and learn what feelings mean more and which mean less? Surely there is an education process?

I wonder when I look at the mass that makes up the majority of endurance sports people.

Do they ever learn?

Why are they always falling short on their goals?

Is nobody teaching these people to fish? You must know this story;

Fishing rods are cheaper than fish. You can’t give people fishing rods, when there is no lake. It’s like selling fishing rods to people who live in the desert. They should have water. If the people who live in the desert have a lake, they can go fishing. At which point, it is okay to give them fishing rods, instead of fish that they will finish eating in a day. Greedy fish-eating bastards who live in the desert.

Unless you have a lake to fish in, what’s the point. Spend the time cleaning out your life, cutting the clutter, before you spend the time training because your answers and your achievement of goals will not happen if you leave the lake dry.

This again relates to training YOUR body. Go slow, go long, keep the intensity down. Repeat, repeat and repeat for 1000 days. Then think about adding 4 weeks of intensity before your big race.

The slow stuff builds the lake.

By going at YOUR intensity, your pace, your aerobic lake will build and then, one day, you can bring your rod to the lake, and pull our the biggest, shiniest fish in the lake.

Until then, train YOUR body, fill your lake.

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