Do not adjust your screens! Yes, yet another post from between my ears has made it’s way onto the interwebs for your reading pleasure. You’re welcome or maybe I’m sorry? Anyways, I did say that I want to make the most of my uni break to pump out a few of these bad boys and I am if nothing else, a man of my word. I was recently listening to a podcast talking about ‘The Rumble in the Jungle’, the famous fight between Mohammad Ali and George Foreman. While I had heard the name and was obviously familiar with the legend of Ali, I knew very little about the specifics of the event. One of the main things that I learned (and found super interesting) was Ali using a technique called the ’rope-a-dope.’ This technique saw Ali get Foreman in close and then lean on the ropes around the ring. Ali would then let Forman punch the crap out of him. Ali was a genius! By leaning his weight onto the rope the majority of the impact (google some details about George Foreman, the guy was a beast) was absorbed by the ropes leaving Ali relatively unscathed. By employing this technique, Ali let Foreman punch himself to exhaustion and ultimately Ali won.
So you may be a little confused at this point. Has Tim run out of triathlon and weight loss things to talk about so now he is trying his hand at boxing? Well you see, this my dear reader is what I like to call an analogy. Over the weekend I endured one of the hardest weekends of training I have experienced. The volume wasn’t crazy. In fact I only really did 2 sessions. But the intensity was high, very very high. On Saturday I rode with a friend and training partner of mine who is a better athlete than I am. Charlie pushed the pace on our ride so much so that I was on Struggle Street from about 50km of the 160km ride. When I thought we were just about finished, Charlie decided we would add an extra 30km on (needless to say he is an Iron Man.) This broke me. I finished the ride barely holding on and was shaking from low blood sugar. I then backed it up on Sunday with another hard bike ride. I did not want to do it. I did not know how I was going to do it. But, I did it and I did it well. But if I thought I was tired on Saturday, Sunday afternoon was even worse.
The weekend finishes and I wake up on Monday morning to the news that I have a long hard run to complete. 20 minute easy warm up then 16 lots of 3-minute intervals at race pace with a minute jog recovery in-between. I could barely walk, how the hell was I going to run. I procrastinated and did everything I could to get the body ready. I even stood in an extra hot shower to try and warm up my legs before the run. I started the run and the warm up was hurting. I told my self to shut up and kept going. The first few intervals I was running quite quickly but I could feel the effort it was taking. Man, I still have 13 of these to go. By the 7th and just as I was about as far from home as I would go I had to stop. My legs were throbbing. I was not having much fun and my pace had dropped right off. I took a minute to regather my thoughts, I remembered why I was doing this and also told myself that if it was easy, everyone would be doing it. I stopped briefly after the next few intervals but then as I passed number 10 I started to find some rhythm again and low and behold, my pace increased and the last one was actually one of the fastest.
So I mentioned an analogy. Well here it is. Over the weekend, my body took a beating. On Saturday it was my training partner who gave me a touch up. On Sunday it was the workload. But come Monday I was able to bounce back even when I thought I wouldn’t be able to complete the set. I think that is what training for performance is all about. Allowing your body to absorb the majority of the impact, the load, the pain and the suffering. Then after you have allowed it to carry the burden your mind is able to take over and get the real work done. I managed to complete the run set through sheer willpower. I told myself I could do it. I believed I could do it and guess what happened? I did it. I even managed to make it to swim squad after the run and felt like I swam very well.
So remember that when you are training, the whole point is to lean on your body and allow it to take the impact for you. It is meant to be hard, it is meant to be uncomfortable but it is also the point. Then after you have taken all that your body thinks it can take let the mind take over and get that last little bit out of you. It isn’t always easy and most of the time your mind will be the first thing to go. But I’ll tell you what. I know that next time I am racing and hurting and hating it. When I think I can’t go any harder, I am going to remind myself of that weekend where I smashed myself for three days in a row and managed to finish just as strongly as I started.
Remember that we train hard so we race easy and as always, remember to TRI!
You can also check out the latest Think Fit which is all about goal setting and success and failure