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Of course I mean about training or racing.<br><br>
I have been at this stuff for a couple years, and spend a fair amount time reading about our sports, but man, I have bit hit over head in the past couple months with a couple 'you dumbass you' revelations.<br><br>
1. Hills for run training. I used to run hills with a group, and race any trail run I could find. I also spent time in the Army in North Georgia. So certainly I should not have forgotten the benefits of hill training. Especially as much focus as I put on hill work on the bike. But for some reason, it left me. I was tooling along enjoying my reacquired ignorance when Thor smacked me out of my stupor. I am now alternating speedwork with hills for my quality sessions. Awesome workouts.<br><br>
2. Strength being a limiter on the bike. This is an example of too much info floating around in too little space (my brain) to be able to add 2 and 2. It was right there in front of me. I think the fact that I used to do super heavy squats in the old football days made me think leg strength couldn't possibly be a problem. Then I started getting more serious on the trainer and found myself unable to get my HR up. I figured optimistically that it was because I was in such good shape aerobically. Yeah right, that's one "I'm never getting better" way to look at it. Then Jroden slapped me directly into line. I am now working to consistently include strength work on the bike and off. Will see where I land in April.<br><br>
So it appears I have relearned the general importance of strength in endurance sports. I guess all the aerobic stuff got in the way.<br><br>
-Jim
 

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Good post! I wish I had an aha moment to share...but mine were in November and July.<br><br>
I hope I get a new one sooN!
 

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I hate Negative Degrees. Seriously. This has been the worst week in ages, and I think it's related to this cold. I just cannot escape it and I am ALWAYS cold. I'm NEVER FREAKIN COLD. But it's to the bone, constant, cannot go outside. It's -4 AGAIN this morning, which means it is probably 15 in my garage. Too cold to even workout IN MY OWN DAMN GARAGE.<br><br>
I've missed 4 days of training in a row. I'm pisssed. Going to the club this morning to ride their freakin bikes. How sad is that. ARG!
 

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1. Jim - I had a big revelation too about strength training on the bike. Actually I had this revelation the year before last, but forgot it in a haze of non-race stuff, and just came back to it recently.<br><br>
2. I NEED A TRAINER. It's that simple. 45-minute spinning classes are intense, and even often tailored to my needs (instructor doing the same half IM as I am in June) - but, they are just 45 minutes.<br><br>
3. Weekend workouts. Never did them unless they sort of just fit in. It's amazing how I can fit everything in and be more flexible about moving around my workouts when I have Sat or Sun to play with.
 

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Hmmm. This may sound silly, but I've learned that my body knows more than I do sometimes. I used to be very self aware when I was dancing and jumping in school and then I just kind of assumed that I would always be that way. Now, I'm putting in more work than I have in a long time and when my mind panics, my body takes over.<br><br>
Another revelation, kind of related. Running drills work. For strength and speed. I haven't done them in almost 10 years-but I did the other night and it was awesome.
 

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2 things, a note and a revelation--for the strength on bike crowd, realize that during your strength building phase, you may actually get slower and more sluggish when you go outside and ride, so don't give up, but also don't overextend that phase beyond its useful life. For me, a few more weeks of that and I'm done, maybe 10 weeks total.<br><br>
The revelation has been running with my Garmin watch and realizing exactly how slow I train when I run. I always assumed that say 1:20 would be about 10 miles give a few stops for this and that but in fact I run even slower than 8 mins miles. This certainly keeps me honest, I don't know if I wanted to know this, though...
 

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I'm taking swimming lessons. First time the guy watched me swim he told me I'm too tight in my shoulders and I need to loosen up. What an amazing difference in a very short time. I don't feel like I'm fighting my way through the water anymore.
 

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I have hit a couple of big revelations this year:<br><br>
1. I am sick of being 20lbs overweight. I am sick of the way food makes me feel. Came to this a couple of weeks ago and have drastically changed the way I eat. I feel AMAZING now. More energy, just overall feel healthier. Also lost almost 5lbs in the last 9 days!!<br><br>
2. I do not want to overtrain. I want to continue to enjoy this sport for a long time coming and I have come to the realization that your body can only handle so much at a time, so steady as she goes for me.
 

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My realizations have been more gradual over the past year or so, not 'ah ha!' moments.<br><br>
1. The the three most important things in any endurance sport are consistency, consistency and consistency. Year after year, day in and day out. My MO used to be to run for a year or two, then take a year or two off. I'm starting my 3rd year of training and I'm doing the best running of my life. It's not even close. Kinda makes me sad because I know that at 37, my peak physical years are probably behind me, even though I'm running PR's at every single distance 5k and above. If I knew in my 20's what I know now...<br><br>
2. Recovery days (and weeks) are important. I used to be an 'all-out, all-the-time' kinda guy. Probably one reason for my past inconsistency, I'd just burn out after one or two seasons. Now I really understand the beauty of going hard on quality days and easy on recovery days.<br><br>
3. Stretching helps. Maybe that's just an artifact of getting older.<br><br>
Mike
 

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Revelation number 1: Training hard doesn't mean I can eat anything I want. I still have to keep it reasonable. Duh!<br><br>
Revelation number 2: In the pool yesterday, I realized that I am pulling only with my hand, and that I can go much faster if I use much more of my arm as well. And it tires me out more. So now more drills in the pool to fix this problem! (I'll probably do the one where you swim with your hands in fists.... people will think I'm a lunatic..but they're probably right.)
 

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1. There's something about running slower that makes it harder on my body and causes me to get hurt so my upper limit is now 6mi.<br><br>
2. That suffering while exercising is ok. 45-60min of suffering 4-5x a week is worth it to not suffer the rest of the time (aka I need to up the intensity of my workouts).<br><br>
3. Running outside in the cold dark of winter is actual not so bad except for during the warmup and cooldown.<br><br>
4. I am addicted to food.<br><br>
5. I ran at a 8:30/mi pace on the TM the other day for 5 minutes at the end of a 5mi run. I did not have a heart attack and I did not die. My legs are still sore though! If I want to get faster maybe I should just run faster?
 

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That's awesome, you have many years ahead of you and there is no reason each season can't bring satisfaction and improvement.<br><br>
Every spring since 1983 has been special for me because of the new hope it brings for a great season, sometimes I think the whole goal setting thing gets overblown, you get in great shape and race what comes to you and that's not so bad, we have our families and lives and in the end that's what matters.
 

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On Active.com I think they have an ad that says something like, "stop exercising and start training". My revelation related to that, but from fall last year, was that I need to do the exact opposite. I need to make being fit part of my life and then fit races, triathlons, etc. into that where the race distances and goals come from what I can do in my everday life, not the other way around.
 

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My more serious minded (and generally childless) friends call that attitude "Lifestyle training" and call me a "lifestyler" when I go to some goofy race. Lately the lens I use to select races I do is the proximity to RV camping and the odds that we can make an intersting family advenure out of it. I still have run facing and feeling fit, especially at an age where many of my peers are starting to have more health problems in middle age. I still love when I can beat 20 year old kids out of a few bucks and take my children up to the podium to fetch it.
 

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1! I've come to this revelation too - I came into this stuff relatively late in life, and I'm trying to train as if I'm 10 years younger. I think my body really rebelled against me end of last year with lots of nagging aches & injury stuff. This year I vow to keep the workouts at the intensity and length that they are prescribed to be.
 

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First revelation being that I no longer care what others think of me. I got tired of always feeling that I have to justify why I get up so early and train so hard and watch what I eat. Some people think that I'm obsessed with my body. So what. Some people think that I should act my age and not be running around town in my workout clothes. Whatever. Some people think that MS is frivolous and that I should be out spending my free time doing something more meaningful. I finally got over caring what anyone else thinks. My husband and my kids are ok with it and no one else really matters.<br><br>
Second revelation is that I am stronger and braver , both physically and emotionally, than previously thought. This year I got up the nerve to hire a coach and learn how to swim. I used to think that I wouldn't be caught dead in a swimsuit in public (might be some truth to alleged body image issues described in revelation #1) but have now signed up for a tri in April. The take home lesson is that old dogs can learn new tricks if they remain open minded and are willing to confront insecurities and self-doubt.
 

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Post of the month goes to der Kaiser!<br><br>
Lots of thoughts and comments...<br><br>
Jr is a smart guy. I've learned more from him than many. I've even learned things that he may not realize himself as him teaching. I mean that.<br><br>
First thing he taught me not to mention a revelation dating back to last winter into spring was that the Trainer could be an amazing tool for getting stronger and faster on the bike. I've taken all of his advice to heart and have tailored a training schedule based on his preachings and owned it for myself for the improvement and even enjoyment it brings.<br><br>
Second is his amazing attitude of him being older yet now he still kicks ass all over the circuit but now has a more relaxed attitude. He wants to beat the younger lads, but he also wants to teach them when he can much like he does with us.<br><br>
Third is that we in sport go through phases, just as we do in life. In life we go through adolescense (sp?), then our teen years as a raging teenager, then to a young adult where we want more responsibility but aren't yet to own it, and then adult. In sport we have phases too. And I'm not just talking about training phases throughout the year. I'm talking about phases spanning many years. We have our "introductory" phase where we dabble in sport and figure things out. Then we have our "hey, I'm pretty fast" or "hey, I want to accomplish something" phase. Then we have our competitive phase. This is where I've learned a lot from him for me in understanding my sporting background. The competitive phase really is a phase; for some it's short, for others it's long, but for all it is relative to our abilities coupled with what we want and our willingness and smarts to go get it. Not only that, but this phase doesn't have to be singleton, or even simpleton. We may go through many competitive phases based on lifestyle and other.<br><br>
Other things I've learned...<br><br>
The truth behind a very simple concept:<br><br>
Set a Goal, Make it Happen... Nothing more to it!<br><br>
If you want something badly enough and you're willing to commit to it, set it as a goal, jump into that goal with all you have, and get out there and make it happen. There really is nothing more to it.<br><br>
You want Ironman? Or a marathon? Or a first triathlon? First commit to the goal. Go ahead. Think about what crossing the finish line represents. Once you've shed an emotional tear, set it as a goal. Then figure out how you're going to achieve the goal. Maybe it's formulating a training schedule. Or maybe it's hiring a coach. Once you have a path toward that goal, dream about it often... and get to work. No excuses. Just get out there and make that dream happen. That means slugging through a workout when you'd otherwise want to sit on the coach. Or it means pushing off a dinner date an hour so you can get in your swim. Make it happen. Nobody can do it for you. But you can. And it's easy, if you stop fighting it. Stick with this while reassessing your fitness and you will make it happen. There is nothing more to it!<br><br>
Fear can derail dreams in how it masks the core elements of what you need to do. Take that fear, undress it, and drape it over your back for the warmth of motivation. It will motivate you to make your dreams happen. It will. But you have to take it on, head first, and call it by its name. Then embrace it in a way to your benefit.<br><br>
And there are more.
 

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Being as small, lightweight and friendly as there are, no bike ride should be without a camera. A real one; not the one on your phone.<br><br>
I was riding through the woods on Sunday afternoon - just cruising, with no goals, plans or even directions - when I came across a previously undiscovered [by me] pond. At the edge of the pond was a wonderfully massive beaver lodge; I didn't see Mr. & Mrs. Beaver.<br><br>
As I said, this lodge was pretty out of the way, not something I could drive over to, so I had to do my best to describe it to the girls when I got home.<br><br>
I feel that I failed to communicate how cool it was to just stumble upon this.<br><br>
I keep my camera in my car to capture such moments of serendipity, why couldn't I stuff it in my jacket pocket as I'm putting my helmet on?
 

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This week I figured out how to rotate all the way from my hips while swimming. Not sure what clicked, but something fell into place and I could feel and recognise the difference. I still have to think about it while doing it, but I hope before long it will become habit and I won't have to think about it quite so much.
 

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Wow - what a great thread.<br><br>
I didn't work out much in Nov or Dec - got back into a bad habit of spending most of the evening hours eating and having a glass of wine.<br><br>
After the holiday I told myself that had to stop since I wasn't feeling great and had put a few pounds on. I wasn't enjoying waking up with a food hangover. I know I am an emotional eater.<br><br>
I have spent the past 3-4 weeks getting back into a training routine and I feel so much better.<br><br>
Relevation: Tuesday was a nonstop day for me. DH/kids and I didn't get home until 8pm. I felt extremely tired, stressed out with a big work deadline, etc. In the past I would have sacrificed my workout and just sat in front of tv with a big snack. Instead I made myself get on the trainer. After 5 min I felt great and continued on for an hour. Afterwards I felt like a new person who could deal with everything going on.<br>
I'm starting to feel stronger again and am now enjoying sticking to my training plan.<br>
I really get the difference in how I feel physically and mentally.<br><br>
As Thor posted, I am "making it happen."
 
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