If you are a new reader of this blog and have found your way here for a magic formula to lose weight and become a podium dweller, man have you been misled.
Hell of a way to start a blog post isn’t it?
The truth of the matter is that I have been training and racing now for 4 years and it has not gotten any easier. The even darker truth is that this year has been my most difficult year yet and has me retreating to my corner like a beaten dog, cowering, ears folded back and tail between my legs, signing up for sprint triathlons and half marathons instead of 70.3 and 140.6 races, to fill my 2015 calendar.
Quite the picture I just painted huh?
Another truthful statement (this post will be full of them. I can feel it.)? It doesn’t bother me that much.
I think I pushed myself too far too fast and now I am paying for it (I can feel Kendra and Tara shaking their head in agreement after reading that, assuming they still read this blog. I guess I will find out eh?). With injuries, odd illnesses, probably a little metabolic syndrome thrown in for good measure. I entered races I was not ready for then lamented the fact that I did poorly in them (though NEVER a DNF … have to mention that at least once). And before someone says it, it is not that I did not train for them. I did. Every day … like a beast. I would go to work and leave straight from there at 4 PM to get to the pool, or to a group run, or to a bike route before it got dark. I logged endless miles on the brain killing trainer and treadmill. I put my time in … until my body said “enough”. That was early in 2014 and my body, who apparently knows more than me, has been throwing me curve balls all year-long.
I pulled out of three races this year, so while I say I have never DNF’ed a race (mention #2) I have DNS’ed 4. I know these were the right decisions at the time, but it has a way of getting in my brain and yelling “FRAUD” at me every time I sit down to type out a blog about health, nutrition, or training. Let’s face it, though, it’s not that I don’t know what I am doing. I can talk to someone now, get to their race goals, and write a pretty decent training plan, so I have learned a thing or two along the way. I know what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat. I know what will work for most people, and I know enough to know that one answer is not the answer for everyone.
But I have so much more to learn, and truthfully there is so much information (both good and bad) it becomes hard to get through what is good information and worth listening to, and what is self-serving rubbish that needs to be sent straight to the spam/junk mail folder immediately upon receiving it (ahem ..Beachbody).
Authors Note: I really have no idea if Beachbody works. I assume it probably does for some people. I just have an automatic distrust for ANY pyramid marketing platform and especially those that post pictures stating “amazing transformation from pregnant to washboards abs … contact me to learn how”. You can throw in Herbalife, Isagenix, and Shakeology as well. If it works for you, hell, more power to you.
What have I learned? I have learned that training plans calling for endless long miles do not work for me. They put too much stress on my joints and muscles that I end up hurt the majority of the time. I am not going to tell you, or anyone, that this type of plan does not work. that would be silly. There is plenty of evidence that it does work. BUT what I WILL say is that there is more than one way to skin a cat, or to use Brian Mackenzie‘s words “there is more than one way to the mountaintop”.
Recently I made the mistake of accidentally posting a message onto Facebook that was meant to be private to Jennifer. What I sent was “I am reading this book that says the longest training run for any distance should be no more than 13 miles”. The blasting started immediately. On twitter, which auto sends from Facebook posts, one guy called the book “stupid”, which is amazing to me since I did not mention the book nor the author. Instead of being drawn into an argument, mostly because I had not finished the book so did not want to misquote anything, I deleted the entry and instead sent this:
“For those that saw the last post about only training 13 miles for any distance, that was actually supposed to be a private message. Oops. I didn’t want to post it until I read through the whole book to make sure I understood it fully.
THAT being said, it is AMAZING how closed-minded people can be about time valued processes. I had a response via twitter that said, basically, “dumb book”. This person hasn’t read the book (because I never said what it was), has no idea about what the authors reasoning is, nor any of the facts that resulted in their reasoning, yet it was dubbed as “dumb” out of hand. How ridiculous is that? Making a decision about something with no facts regarding it?
From the little I have gathered from the book it seems sound. The author has trained numerous people in this manner to sub 4 hour marathons. The basic facts are that, according to a Harvard study in 2012, 79% of all runners training for a marathon will be injured at some point in their training. There HAS to be a better way. As the author states, “there is more than one way to the mountain top. If I tell you that you can get the same results training 30 miles a week vs. training 60 miles a week, and your risk of injury drops by 75%, why would you NOT try it?”
It’s an interesting concept.”
The author of this book makes NO sweeping statement that “his way is the only way”. In fact he goes out of his way, I thought, to make it clear that the long slow distance method DOES work, a fact that those dismissing it without reading it may find useful in the future. What he is offering is an alternative way of doing it. A way, FYI, that also has been shown to work.
I have been learning (or re-learning) that through this blog, Facebook, and the podcast I have a wealth of knowledge at my hands, most of which will come free of charge if I just ask the questions. Yes, there are some that take offense, like it’s a personal attack, if I ask a question about what they do or how they eat, but I am really just trying to understand, and to find the best path for ME. 2015 is going to be a reboot for me, as I have stated a number of times.
As always I will be writing copious amounts to make sure everyone suffers along with me …
I may need your help …