This week: Learn to suffer the right way
Image: Bill Landstra on Hill Road, Boise.
Here is your weekly Tri Town Times newsletter:
We are open today from 10am to 6pm.
We will be closed this Saturday, January 20th for a staff meeting.
Thought that struck a chord:
People across the country are honoring the memory of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King today. MLK knew the meaning of sacrifice. He also knew that blind, violent sacrifice would hinder the change he was after. The sacrifice needed was patient, unique, nonviolent, and yet, strong. Suffering and sacrifice often go hand in hand, and it's important to recognize that the suffering we choose to endure and the sacrifices we choose to make often determine the outcome of our actions.
As an endurance athlete you know that suffering and sacrifice is what you signed up for. The sacrifice is clear in terms of time, money, and opportunity cost. The key to making the sacrifice(s) necessary is to say "No" to all the things that are not a priority. Motivational speaker Brian Tracy once said, "There is never enough time to do everything, but there is always enough time to do the most important thing." He could not be more correct.
While sacrifice is often a choice, suffering is trainable. It's an interesting concept- that your daily training is designed to not only improve your fitness, but also your ability to suffer. Over time you may even learn to excel at suffering.
Learning to suffer is one thing, but you must also choose the type of suffering you want to excel at. A common mistake endurance athletes make this time of year is they train their ability to suffer for short periods of time at the detriment of their ability to sustain suffering for extended periods of time. More than likely you signed up for an event that favors development of the latter. Legendary New Zealand swim coach David Wright once wrote in his excellent book Swim to the Top, "Speed is seldom the swimmer’s problem. The maintenance of speed is the key to successful racing rather than the speed itself, whether the race is over 50meter or 1500.” (see my notes from his book).
How do you develop the ability to maintain pace? By completing long, aerobic workouts on a regular basis. The suffering is not from intensity, but from the regular, accumulative volume of training. Over time, the emphasis on training your endurance will prepare you to suffer in a way specific to sustaining a pace for hours on end, and your race results will benefit from it. The fact that you showed up every day for six months preparing for an event is the real backbone of your training, not the short intervals or sexy track workouts (though important they may be when done at the right time). In the process of showing up every day and doing the training, you realize you are making the real sacrifice that 90% are not willing to make.
Have a great week!
Tri Town Bicycles
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