August 2010 Training Chat with Coach AJ

author : Coach AJ
comments : 1

Discussion on rest and on being happy with your performance.

Usually I don't publish chats unless there is some good training questions and answers.  This one is a little different and it struck a chord with me - not so much training information, but more of being happy with yourself, your goals and accomplishments.  Something that can easily get away from us.

Feel free to join one of the coaches in our chats , even if you just want to unload.

[Socks]   It's been interesting now that I have been doing this for a while to see how my body handles things differently over time.  I have soooooo much more endurance.

[Coach AJ]  The body is amazing at adapting to new stresses if you allow it the time to rebuild.

[Socks]    My life is kind of busy too so that is a challenge.

[Coach AJ]  That’s what the coach is for. In my opinion it’s not setting up a schedule, it’s modifying it due to travel, injury, illness, family obligations, etc.

[Socks]   It's actually more restful for me to NOT have a dedicated “rest day” rather than take a “rest day” where I am running around super busy with work and essentially get no rest then have to squeeze in a double another day.  I have one day week I just swim - that is my 'restful' day. Swimming helps me recover so much especially from running.

[Coach AJ]  I can understand that. Rest is hard to come by when you have errands to run, work to do and other demands on your time.

[Socks]    Every once in a while I just declare a day a rest day if I am tired. It's not traditional but it works for me.

[Coach AJ]   As long as it works for you and your schedule, that’s the key.  I’ve had athletes that got on the trainer and treadmill at midnight. I actually discouraged it, the quality just isn’t there!  Most people don’t have time for junk miles, and even if you did, most of that time would be better spent resting for quality miles.

[Socks]   I read a really interesting article about endurance training where they were saying the key is to train the least amount possible to get the best results?

[Coach AJ]  Yeah, that’s pretty much right. It’s how much training can you effectively absorb? I could put in 40 hours of training, but will I be able to absorb that week after week, probably not!

[Socks]   Well if I didn’t have a job I could absorb more, but I'm a surgeon and on my feet a lot all day.  When I am on vacation and I can SIT I see a HUGE difference in how I recover and feel.

[Coach AJ]  That is a lot of physical and mental stress on a daily basis. I’m impressed you get to training at all!

  I call myself the grinder of triathlon. I have not an ounce of talent. I gotta grind it out or I won’t finish. Mostly I am just stubborn.  Triathlon is my stress buster. I LOVE masters swimming because I don’t have to be in charge for three whole hours a week and NO PHONE.

[Coach AJ]  There is nothing wrong with that! That’s what I love about tri, you set your goals based on your ability/time/priorities. Who cares what others do, it’s about what you can do on that day.

[Socks]   It makes me crazy when faster or more talented athletes say that slow people should be allowed to race and then assume I don’t train hard because I am slow.  If I could find a way to run faster I would have found it by now.  I just did not get the running gene.

[Coach AJ]  Well, those athletes will eventually slow down and will understand that it’s about participation, not time.

[Socks]   The thing is that you never know the journey of the person next to you at he start line.  Perhaps they have lost 100#.  Or survived cancer. People need to respect the journey.

[Coach AJ]    I completely agree with you. I think in general most triathletes understand that, but those that don’t are frustrating to hear.

[Socks]   I have a friend who had gastric bypass and has lost over 200# and has DNF’d IMFL twice. She is only 4’11” and will try again in 2011. She works so freaking hard. She will need every minute of those 17 hours to finish and I just don’t understand people who need to say, "Oh, 17 hours is too easy it should be 15 hours" etc., etc., etc. Why deny people the joy of being in Ironman?

[Coach AJ]  IM sets the rules and if 17 hours is what it takes, that what you have. In the end if she is happy with her effort and her race than the thoughts of others don’t matter.

[Socks]  I know. She will be happy to finish no matter what her time.

[Coach AJ]  And she should be. I’ve worked with athletes that finish well into the night and their joy and my satisfaction is the same as when I worked with Kona qualifying athletes. In fact, many of the later finishers show more sheer joy and happiness than the fast crowd.

[Socks]   My first IM was pretty slow at 16:12...but my next one was 13:59!  Until I figure out how to train running without recurring injury I’ll be enjoying things from the BOP and its OK.

[Coach AJ]   That’s a great improvement! The second IM is often worse because athletes push too hard to beat their 1st IM time and make bad pacing decisions!

[Socks]   Well I’m not fast but I am smart.  The two places that I CAN CONTROL where people screw up are nutrition and mental game.  I can control my nutrition plan and my attitude.

[Coach AJ]   Brains beats brawn most of the time in IM.

[Socks]   Ok, I am going to bed. I rode long today in sauna like conditions and I am whooped.

[Coach AJ]  Thanks for the great chat! Have a great week of training and make sure to rest!


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date: September 2, 2010

Coach AJ

USAT Level 1 Coach
"My coaching philosophy can be summed up in two words: listening and balance. By combining these two elements I feel I can help each athlete achieve their full potential."

avatarCoach AJ

USAT Level 1 Coach
"My coaching philosophy can be summed up in two words: listening and balance. By combining these two elements I feel I can help each athlete achieve their full potential."

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