So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad.* Instructional Systems Specialist. Runner. (Swim-challenged) Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) CRO/2, NTO/1. RRCA Rep., FL (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Things Which Make You Go "Hmm..."

Thing 1 (...which has nothing to do with The Cat In The Hat...):
A brief trip to the men's facilities in my office building reminded me of something I observed last week, but didn't have the chance to talk about. So, I'll talk about it here.

It's nothing off-color or bad. Just something to make you scratch your head in wonder, or say to yourself: 'dude, why didn't I think of that?'

I think it was in the men's room of either the Mellow Mushroom or Pineapple Willy's in Panama City Beach. In fact, it was the 'Shroom, because I didn't hit the 'head' anywhere else I can recall...Senator.

Okay. The urinals in the mens' room (I don't think there are urinals in ladies' rooms, but if there are, I don't want to know...) had the rubber/plastic screen to keep cigarette butts & various/sundry debris out...imprinted with the name & phone number of a local urological practitioner.


Thing 2 (...still, nothing to do with TCITH...):
Went to the local running emporium yesterday afternoon to have a chat with the proprietor about stuff, provide a post-mortem of what went awry, talk about the way forward, & assure him I had not fallen off the face of the earth. Darned if Mark wasn't setting up a bike fit, & John Murray, a local swim impressario (who did an open-water swim seminar a month ago at the store) was up taking care of business.

John has an understanding of cardiac issues, so when I told him the tale he shook his head knowingly. Something he said made perfect sense. Actually another one of those things which make you go, 'hmm...'

"No athlete minds having an event named in their memory; the hard part is you have to die to earn it."
Thing 3 (...which has much to do with Thing 2, but nothing to do with the aforementioned Cat...and how many card-carrying, hat-wearing cats have you met?)
While discussing the way forward, event-wise, I started to mention my thoughts about doing a marathon in eight weeks, just down the road in Mobile. However, as the words began to come out of my mouth, I realized the unrealistic expectation I would place on myself. I then said: 'y'know, John...I'm worried that if I set myself up for failure on the marathon; have a bad day, get injured, or will be impossible for me to train for the events I know I can accomplish.'
So, today, I'm reading an on-line article from some Ironguides cat (well, a coach!) by the name of Vinnie Santana, who's talking about letting your competition beat themselves rather than you doing the deed. What I borrowed (okay, stole!) from Vinnie was this:
"Training too hard too close to your big race is a mistake. If you really want to perform on that specific day, you should be training “hard” for months and months before it - even years depending on what your goals are (N.B.: Okay, I've told my athletes this in the past...). Doing a six-week training camp will only create a load your body is not used to. And those...tend to get back into training too soon & train too hard....It is extremely difficult for a working age grouper, in many ways, to such a short time bracket....athletes put too much pressure on themselves, which kills their confidence & they just quit the race before they have even started. Athletes might compare their training performance...realize they are going slower which can be a result of deep fatigue instead of a lack of fitness per se or life circumstances that are not 100% optimal & think it is better to just wait for another opportunity."
Waiting for another opportunity. Sounds simple, but very few listen to that simple advice. And as Tom Petty sang, the waiting is the hardest part.


John said...

Those training camps you speak of remind of the swim camps I attended back when I was 14 and 15. A 2 week session was brutal. Swim from 6:30A-9:00A, eat, back for stroke analysis/films, then lunch, dryland exercise, then swim from 2:30pm-5:00pm, then dinner--- repeat for 6 days, Sundays off.
Total daily meters equaled 12,000- 15,000/day.
The toll on your body was incredible... even at that age.
The amazing thing was that I wouldn't see tangible improvement(faster swim times) for 3-4 months. Some of that delay was related to stroke changes and adjustments which I'm sure are indigenous to every triathlon/endurance camp.
Ideally placed within your periodization cycle, these camps prove invaluable.
Poorly placed and you set yourself up for a poor performance.
"My 2 cents"

carlos said...

yes and no in my book. mind and body are two different things. I want to do my first half mary in January. I can only run 7 miles now. that leaves me two months to add the other half. can I do it? body yes, mind is the tricky part but the mind can push the body. I read an article tonight at books a million about this guy who does full ironmans and starts training about a month or two out from race day! he said it is a mind thing. so I feel you listen to your body as well as your heart and your mind and go from there.

Michael Bowen said...

John - My friend and I considered taking a week during the late summer to ride/run/swim; eat, sleep, breathe, excrete and secrete the sport. And you're right - placed in the right place in the training (some coaches feel a mid-training cycle "camp", followed by cyclic reset is beneficial) it can do good. Most age groupers can't afford, in terms of time/finance, the classic camp...that's my humble opinion.

The camp situation I quote comes from an Ironguides coach...just food for thought. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Michael Bowen said...

Carlos - the Triathlete magazine article about the gentleman who has completed a number of IMs on little-to-no training is more the exception than the rule. Reading the article closer you'll note he's only done a handful of IM distance events in the past 25+ years. He also enlisted - and ignored - the counsel of a coach he hired to help him train.

Mind and body are two different things, but need to be joined together in a common this case, completing an endurance event.

If you're running 7 miles seven days a week I believe you will be able to complete a half marathon in eight weeks...might not be pretty, but for the first half (for the first "anything") completion is a good goal! Long run/s for the week in the 8-10 mile range, if you can afford the time, will probably make the race day distance a little less daunting.