Took a little break this morning and was scanning the New York Times. Came across an excellent article on training and coaching. Here are a couple excerpts from the article:
“Any great athlete who accomplishes anything, anywhere, loves to train,” said Tom Fleming, my coach and a former elite distance runner who twice won the New York City Marathon.
“What’s peak condition?” asked Dr. Pivarnik, the exercise physiologist. “It’s one step from falling off a cliff.”
Thought these were interesting quotes that could lead to some consideration and evaluation of your training and true desires as an athlete.
I’ve stated it here before but I’ll repeat it – I love training. Sometimes I think I love training more than racing. I enjoy long 4 hour rides. I like 2 hour tempo sessions. I thrive on threshold work-outs. Even the dreaded 1 minute max intervals get my blood flowing. I’ve always been like this – thriving on the training. When I used to compete in Taekwon-Do I would design some pretty intense training sessions and was always the first to show up for the extra “tournament” training sessions. Same with hockey – I loved practice time.
Maybe it is because during training, you can really take some risks. Play around a little and really test the body and the brain. Go a little too hard on that last interval? Okay well dial it back a bit for the next one. Not hard enough? Perfect – give it more gas. Want to play around with turning in loose terrain – go for it, falling in practice is
better than during a race. Training gives me a chance to fully free my brain and just get in the groove with the bike and the road. I have my iPod on (last night was a bunch of CBC podcasts to distract me from the rain), I’m focused on my bike and what I have to do.
I’m not stressed. I’m not worried about missing the move. Or attacking too late. I have no concerns over where I’m putting my front wheel or reminding myself to lay off the brakes. There are no fans cheering/jeering.
Out training it is just me. I’m accountable to me. There is nothing to prove and no one to impress.
Hmm, seeing these words on the screen, makes me consider that I might need to work some more on my race day mental game?
Anyway, just some words for thought on this Thursday.