Thursday, May 22, 2008

Being enough

Winning is great, but sometimes just completing what you set out to do is enough.

Many of us have a competitive nature, if not with other people at least with ourselves. We get caught up in doing better than the person next to us, yet we lose focus on why we started the journey in the first place. Whether it's completing a triathlon, getting a one rep max that exceeds your goal, or even successfully completing something the first time you try it, there's always a reason why you started in the beginning. The people who succeed the most, are those who start a goal based on knowing themselves, and always remember it.

It's easy to lose sight of an original goal if something gets in your way, if someone challenges you to do more than you agreed, or if you get caught up in the moment and simply bite off more than you can chew. The reality is, all you can really expect from yourself is to be better than yourself. No one is like you, so you shouldn't compare yourself to those around you. We each have own talents and successes and they are ours because we worked for them and succeeded. If we gave up along the way, we have no one blame but ourselves, and if someone did better than us, then we should hand-out congratulations.

Keeping people near to us who impose great demands can be crucial to any training program, however they should remain reminders and not reasons. We are only as good as we make ourselves, and no one can take that away from us.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

How Many Ways...?

There are many ways to do many different things. It's safe to say that any action can be executed in a multitude of different ways. So what exactly makes one way the best way, the most preferable way, or even the least effecient way? Does it come down to a matter of opinion? Maybe because it's always been done a certain way? Perhaps there is an actual science that proves it. Whatever it is, and all answers could be right for different actions, there are hundreds of ways.

I could go on for hours about the best way to dress, the best way to talk, the best way to travel, but instead it seems more appropriate to discuss the best way to train.

How can there be a 'best way to train' when I just said there are so many different ways to do practically everything? That's simple. The best way to train is to appropriately train for your goal. Now, the training program might not be that simple, but training for your particular goal will be the best way to train.

Let's assume, we want to achieve 20 pull ups in a certain period of time. You aren't going to spend your training sessions focusing on running. This doesn't mean you can't run, but if you don't practice your pull ups several times a week (and I'm talking 5 times a week) you won't be doing 20 pull ups.

Likewise if you are concerned about your conditioning and endurance for your particular sport, you'll spend several days a week working on your conditioning in addition to training for your sport. You won't benefit by doing 1 rep max lifts if your focus is on your conditioning.

Once you start the training program for your goal there will be various different ways to perform the vast majority of movements. What is the best way to do a kettlebell snatch, the best push up variation, the best pull up variation? This all depends on your specific goals.

'The Best Way' is relative to what you are training for. Which is why there are so many ways to execute actions.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Broad Street Run

This photo shows no justice to the number of people that ran the Broad Street Run this year. The exact number I'm not quite sure, but it's over 22,000 people! That's half as many people I went to college with.

As we all know I lost a bet with a client, which gave me the priviledge of running the race today, I couldn't be happier for her, and now I have just one more notch on my own belt marked off.

These are the stats, and they are by no means impressive to anyone other than myself. When I found out I'd have to run this race I decided that finishing would be the goal, I had three weeks, and hadn't trained a bit. As the race got closer, being the person that I am, not only did I have to finish but I had to finish in under 2 hours! Have I mentioned that I've never run more than 3 miles continuously in my life?

Once we arrived, I anxiously awaited the start, and either wanted to just get it over and done with or walk off the course and sit in the grass. Thankfully, I was running with someone else who took pity on me when Susan completed her five pull-ups. Thanks Rich, you helped me keep my focus many times!

My goal was to hit 3-4 miles, walk a little bit, run another 2-3, walk a little bit, and finish the last 3. Each mile we came accross our time strangley got faster, who knew. Once I hit mile 3 I wanted to run to mile 4, and once I hit mile 4 I wanted to make it to mile 5 or City Hall. I hit City Hall but saw no mile marker, I thought mile 4 was the longest damn mile I ever ran in my entire life, then when I was about to give up hope, I saw mile 6 and I was under an hour. With halfway to go, I chose to stop and walk, my toes were numb, my left leg from my glutes all the way to my ankle was killing me. Of course the only injury I was worried about, my back, didn't even make a peep. Not to mention, at this point some people had already finished the race!

For the next 3 miles I alternated back and forth between walking and running. Rich picked a landmark that we had to run to and once I made I could either continue to run or start walking again. Good strategy. As we approached the last mile, I hear, "I want to run the last mile." In my head I was running the last half mile, but I sucked it up big time and trudged through the last mile, in through The Navy Yard and through the finish line, in under two hours.

The funny part is I'm more impressed with the 6 miles I ran without stopping than I am with the 10 miles I finished. I imagine I'll never do such a silly thing again, and when I wake up tomorrow morning, I know my legs will confirm that.


Today Is The Day!

The Broad Street Run starts in about an hour and a half, and I find it ironic that I'm calmly sitting at the computer eating my breakfast. Really though, what else am I going to do? No sense getting all stressed out over it.

I did get plenty of emails, texts, and verbal "Good Lucks!" yesterday and last night. I have lots of good thoughts and people to think about as I'm striding through some of the sites of the city. Thank you.

Details to follow.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

The Countdown Begins

Should I list the days, hours, or minutes until the Broad Street Run? It's less than 3 days, about 61 hours, and roughly 3,660 minutes. An interesting breakdown. Regardless, for someone who's training is all about strength gains, and short yet effective workouts, this has been somewhat of a challenging experience for me. Trust me, I've thought about throwing in the towel on this one, but then I figure what for? I made a bet and now I have to live up to my end of the deal, run...10 miles.

Two weeks ago I was sick and the most exercise I got was during the demos of workouts. Now that I'm about 95% healthy I'm itching to get in one of those off the wall workouts, that in my eyes I'm famous for, but I'm stuck running and keeping the workouts low key, at least for 3 more days (or 61 hours or 3660 minutes). I admit I even attempted some negotiations of a 2 mile fireman's carry over this 10 mile run down Broad Street, Susan was even going to be the one who was being carried, she still chose the running!

I can't quite tell if the people I see every day have faith in me or pity for me. I'm used to the faith, at least when it comes to challenges of strength. But in the end they must be the same. Well not physically of course, Turkish Get Ups with a 36kg kettlebell is completely different than a 10 mile race, but mentally they have to share similarities. Mentally I have to know that I can stand up with that amount of weight overhead, just as mentally I know I have to be able to make it the 10 miles down Broad Street. The difference being, the Turkish Get Up takes at most 3 to 5 mintues, and the race, well I'm hoping the race is over in under two hours.

And what's it all for? It's a strange little world we live in. I made this bet to challenge a client who clearly had the capabilities of doing 5 pull ups, she has a lot more in her too, just as everyone else I work with, but it takes a different type of motivation for each person you work with, sometimes it's hard to find sometimes it's easy. I put myself on the line for this one. I hope she keeps them up, just as I'm sure she hopes that I keep running. I wonder if either one will continue?