3/25/13

Pushing Yourself



The phrase "pushing yourself" can be very vague, and can even be a vague set of instructions from a coach or trainer.  I think anyone that lives in the Mid-Atlantic region pushes themselves each winter by staying committed to training outdoors as much as possible. 

Give yourself credit for making it through another winter of training in DC! The first day of spring each year is April 1st, with snow and colder temps still lingering through the end of March.  I understand that some of you are not children of the cold, and I tip my hat to you for persevering and staying true to yourself and the goals that you have set.  I'm proud of everyone on a year-round basis for their motivation and ability to push themselves by heading out the door for early morning workouts in the cold/dark, or staying committed to the workouts after a long day at the office.  "There ain't no wealth except your health."  Continue to put your personal health and physically active lifestyle as a priority in your life. I do notice when the athletes I coach have a great week of training (or great 3-month phase).  I often define a great month of training by how consistent the activity levels are.  "Sweat once per day" is the mantra of Lululemon. I agree with that mantra wholeheartedly.  

In the grand scheme of things, when considering the year as a whole, I'm less concerned about the data/performance of each workout versus the day-to-day logistics of how you overcame adversity in some way and stayed committed to a goal.  Keep it fun and keep yourself entertained! Commitment is easier when the task in enjoyable.  Intrinsic motivation is doing something for its own sake.  I appreciate when runners show up to the track ready to put in hard work even when they don't have their A-game that day.  So be it.  Keep pushing yourself.  It's my job to make sure runners don't push themselves outside of their boundaries too much, too soon ("training smarter, not harder" is also a great mantra). 

If you take a holistic approach to training, then it's nearly impossible to have a "bad week of training," so stay positive.  I am in 100% agreement with runners who feel that their motivation will increase when spring arrives, so hold out for 1 more week!  Remind yourself of the goals you set during your off-season (tryptophan-induced) soul-searching sessions. What does pushing yourself really mean?  It means being motivated, which means being committed to put in the hard work during training when it's time do to so.  If you want to call this mental toughness then so be it.  Mental toughness has more to do with your dedication to training on a day-to-day basis than it does with running fast at the end of a race.  I never want an athlete I coach to be consumed by their running/training lifestyle, but there is a mentally healthy, performance-related benefit to being committed to holistic approach of training (massage, PT, ST, XT, stretching, sleeping well, aqua running, etc).  

If it snows this week, so be it.  Put some Rocky IV into your veins and have a great week!

Train hard!

Mike

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