Friday, June 1, 2012

What It Takes #2

Be sure you’ve read Part I before viewing this post.

“…Summer training for me is a combination of plyometric, strength and conditioning training. I won't go into detail because every individual should have a plan custom for them. I try to run 4-5 miles, twice a week. Get in the gym at least 4 days and have a day of rest mixed in there too. It's real important to listen to your body and understand what it is telling you, if you can't then you will never be able to perform at your peak. Ample rest and nutrition is key, whether in working out or during competition season.
TGU's with 32Kg (70#) = Fun!
It is important to note the ‘challenge days’ that I go through in my workouts leading up to being on snow. In an SBX race your body needs to be able to perform at its top level when it's hurting the most... i.e. the hardest race (big Final) comes at the end of the day when you’ve already had to go through practice, time trials, and 3 previous rounds - stretching roughly an 8 hour span (not to mention the course is totally chewed up by this point).  My ‘challenge days’ are built to push my mind and my ability to cope with highly strenuous states that my body can handle but brain doesn’t think so.  It's like training for overtime, when you have a little gas left in the tank and you want to be able to use it all instead of your brain shutting your body down due to doubt, fatigue, etc. You have to train your mind and your body; if you don't think you can then you definitely wont be able to.

Everything I do is monitored and tailored to my needs.  It’s about quality, not quantity.  You can overwork your body to where working out is making you weaker.  I can not stress enough how important it is to have the right people there making your life easier and better, and turning you into a better overall rider; coaching and pushing you to higher levels all while keeping your goals in mind...”

Awesome message.  And to get an idea of what a “Challenge Day” is like, check out the video below.  Quick note that it’s a little early in the season to be doing challenge days, but it was so nice out a few weeks ago and Ale (see Athlete Bio Page) needed some video for one of her Under Armour “What is Beautiful” contest posts, that I threw together a little outdoor fun.  Normally the challenge days get progressively more difficult the later we go in the training year (leading up to competition season).  This one is a ‘lite’ version for sure, but that doesn’t mean easy.  Sometimes on challenge day there’s a huge competitive vibe and trash talking going on which means I have to do the challenge first to set down a ‘beat this’ time. 

We did a series of tire jumps and tire flips up the hill out behind the gym followed by a ½ mile ripstick ride around the parking lot (uphill start and finish) – took a short rest and then did it again for a total of 2 rounds for time.  Only round 2 is on the video.

Here’s my advice for any of you trying to achieve a personal goal:
-       To know what it takes to get where you want to you’ve go ask someone who’s been there.  Don’t waste time guessing or trying to figure it out for yourself.  Get a true sense of the effort, time commitment and training necessary for your task and then get to work. 

-       Be open and accept feedback and coaching.  Look for people who aren’t afraid to give you an honest appraisal of your situation.  Avoid getting hung up on people telling you how good you are or how intense your training routine is.  That’s a sure way to get complacent and start looking for outside affirmation instead of listening to that inner-knowing that really let’s you gauge if you’re doing the most you can (and then some) every day.

-       Commit to the ‘lifestyle’ needed to achieve your goal.  Does that mean you should turn into a hermit and isolate from society?  No.  But if you’re staying out late the night before a big race or training session are you really giving yourself the best chance to succeed?  Along the same lines are your friends trying to persuade you to drink and party it up instead of resting and recovering?  If so, they really aren’t your friends.  Real friends would support your effort and commitment whether they understand what you’re doing or not. 

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