Thursday, May 28, 2009
A friend commented on Twitter that I seemed to be cursed recently. I assume they were referring to the fact that, just over a month ago I severely sprained my ankle - that required three weeks to heal up. Then just yesterday after feeling like I was going to die for two days, a trip to the doctor confirmed that I had a case of pneumonia and will be down and out of it for a bit more. My Twitter tweat reply, was that,"Indeed, it's been a bit of a rough stretch"!
It's at times like this that I am actually in awe of what I used to do and that many others continue to do - to train and get the training in consistently day after day and week after week. I will admit that when I was racing triathlons seriously, this was a strength of mine. I never considered myself particularly talented, but I was very consistent in my training, many weeks and even many months would go by and I would miss only a day or two for very long stretches of time. I was not obsessive about this, I always seemed to manage to carve out some time in the day to get out to do something. To me that was the beauty of triathlon - it gave me flexibility. If I could not swim, I could ride. If I could not ride I could run . . . and so on. Sometimes this took some creativity, but being flexible with the program was key.
The upside of all those years and years of consistent aerobic training, is that it left me with this deep aerobic base of fitness, that I fully admit has dropped way off, but the aerobic bank account never seems to get fully depleted. How else to describe jumping in a hard 100K group ride a few weeks ago coming off the ankle sprain and after intermittent training in the previous 6 weeks, was still able to make the front break and hang in there for the full 100K!
The take-aways - be flexible and be consistent. The really big gains, don't come from individual workouts. The big gains come from stringing together week after week and month after month of workouts and training sessions and the further good news, is that fitness will stay with you for a very long time. That deep well of fitness will not all of a sudden desert you if you need to take some time off! That if you are"cursed", as I have been recently, that you will be able to deal with that down time and bounce back quickly.
Hope this helps.
Picture above is me stretching out the wonky back on a long ride in Tucson.