this post is ad-lib, post IPA and upon stumbling upon the following post:
"He Who Has The Most Fun Wins (by Matt Fitzgerald)
There is a very interesting new study I want to tell you about today. It involved a team of amateur cyclists engaged in their normal training and racing over the course of a full season. At the beginning of the study period, researchers brought all of the cyclists into the lab and had them perform a simulated 40K time trial and recorded the details of each subject’s performance. This test was repeated approximately every four weeks over the next 24 weeks. At the beginning of the study period each team member also filled out a questionnaire designed to assess the athlete’s level of enjoyment of his or her training. The questionnaire was administered again at two-week intervals over the next 24 weeks.
Can you see where this is going? The researchers found a strong correlation between enjoyment and performance. . . "
That's an excerpt from a post from this blog.
Running and gunning, i.e., raising the ole blood pressure, is fun. Although humankind might have stumbled upon this correlation while/after being chased by the ole saber-tooth (I see the origin here of high-risk behavior), the chased has certainly gained by participating in frequent bouts of physical exertion.
I might stop right here and say one better be having fun "training" for whatever sort of competition, or the whole affair is doomed. That'll be my conclusion. If one is not actually having fun, but in fact "running from the 'proverbial tiger'" still, yikes. Good luck. We have fun during most work-outs, so we might infer that the endeavor has an overall positive affect on our lives despite a few occasional bad workouts. But the bad might be having more of an affect than we care to believe. How do we avoid the schnoid? Great question. Let me have one more San Diego IPA and I'll get right on it. . .
Okay! Did I say one better be having fun? Okay!
I think the best exercise comes first from a state of consistency. Magill's post about running vs. training is brilliant. I'm discouraged from ever using "training" to characterize my routine again. One has to get out and run, period. Hitting the pavement/trail/track often will make one smarter than reading any book or blog. One just has to be involved, growing, learning. Be consistent. That's the first step.
While one is out and about on a consistent basis, I think a developing awareness of one's PE ranks pretty high on the to do list (Not only am I talking about classic PE, but is one really "feeling" the work-outs, ala the way Randy Jackson might say). Sure, the heart rate monitor makes most endurance athletes' gear bags, but knowing one's body during the work-out should be part of the system for sure. Last year I even slept with my HRM; this year I've kept it at bay. I'm thinking about including it more, especially while reading Joghard, because the data is definitely helpful. But I don't think one needs to use it exclusively. I think of an ultra, which I have yet to run, but my heart (rate) is there and I will have more than one 50k under my belt by Dec. 31st. Puking and muscle cramps might be the biggest concerns. Steep climbs, big descents and volatile weather might be more on the mind than HR. The HRM definitely has its place in the build-up to a specific event, but . . ..then we seemed to have touched on another aspect of training. . .
Goals. People compete/participate in events because those races are fun on some level. So, pick those events that fit one's style. Background plays a big role and so does natural inclination. Does one prefer the track or the trail? Choose and build appropriately (notice I did not say "train").
As for the program, again, so much depends on the background and goals of an athlete, but, again, build appropriately. And that means include a base. What a runner does after that, it's way beyond me, but ease into the schedule: build the aerobic system. The base is based on the goals. I'm still in a base (it's June), but my A races are in Oct. and Dec. (for now). I'm running hard a little here and there (the no HRM approach facilitates this pretty well), but building my aerobic system is a bigger picture approach. Read Joghard for the real goods on that approach.
The second to last point I'll touch on is diversity, which should really help one keep things fun. For a runner, we might be talking about varying run work-outs. The easy runs should be easy. The hard runs hard. So much is written about the error of going too hard on easy days and not hard enough on tough days. For some runners, like me, diversity means doing other types of work-outs, cross-training. But, what are one's goals? Marathoners should just run. I remember reading something about Amby Burfoot's training when he did well. He had a lot of success running aerobically. When he returned to the track, he got slower. It seemed to underscore Maffetone's motto: want speed? Slow down! For the rest of us, mix it up. That may be the best reason to hire a coach.
The last point is fellowship. Blog, join a club, run with a friend. It helps.
Ya know, I had some interesting thoughts on my training philosophy, especially during runs. Maybe I've captured some of them here. The irony was the simplicity of the whole thing. And I'll stick to that.
Have fun. Be consistent. Listen to your body. Create goals. Build (your aerobic engine) toward those specific goals. Embrace diversity. Seek fellowship.
And as for avoiding the schnoid (negativity) in ANY activity, if you are not having fun, you are doing something wrong. So simple. So investigate, seek counsel, make changes. . .find that bliss.
I know. Booooring. I gots to post something!
By the way, the "training" is going pretty well.