Sunday, June 24, 2012

Transitions are a Skill

Ever feel like you go through lots of transitions? Think back over the course of your life, how many different times have you changed paths, migrated from one interest to the next or chosen an alternative route? What's interesting about transitions is that they're everywhere. We not only make them physically, but we do so mentally. Mental transitions are the toughest.

I used to be an LSD addict. Yes, I measured my success by how many miles I got in each week and how long it took me. The weeks that I got close to 60miles I felt like a rock star. Training wasn't planned back then. The only plan was how many miles seemed right today; How many miles over 10 was I going to run on the weekend? Intriguing structure to training now that I look back. 

For those readers who don't know "What CrossFit Endurance" actually involves, check out the video below. In less than 3 minutes you'll figure out just IMMENSE of a transition I made in my training: 

So what difficulties can you anticipate experiencing when making your transition to CFE? 

1) Its a 180 degree switch - Focus switches from miles to moving better.
2) You'll be a duck out of water - Not many are brave enough to attempt
3) You will look different - CrossFit Endurance athletes actually have muscles (interesting) 
4) People will continue to question your training - EXPECT this ... won't go away for awhile 
5) You'll go back and forth - Most will find themselves out on at least one "long run" the 1st go around. It will take time for you to fully be drinking the "CFE Kool Aid"
6) The workouts will always be tough - If you're doing it right that is
7) You'll have to plan - Establish a base in CFIT, then 3 sport specific wods per week (SI, LI, TT)
8) Struggle with the idea of less is more - focus will shift to how can I recover quicker? 
9) Evidenced based knowledge will flood your brain - your benchmarks will improve, head will start to run out of space with the evidence that less running and more S&C makes you faster 
10) You'll have trouble NOT PRing - Yes this is a difficulty :)) 

Now you're one step in front of everyone thinking about this new way of training. What I want you to compare this transition too is that movie all your friends said was awful, they were adament for you not to go and see it, almost begged you, but then you watched. The movie turns out to be an all time favorite. What do you do? You watch it over and over again and it never gets old. That's what CFE will become for you. You just have to give it a chance...

The best part is once you start watching, the community sees your excitement, potentially thrives off it and before you know it everyone's watching... 

This weekend's triathlon in review:

Race:Tri the Midlands
Place: Northeast Columbia, SC
Conditions: Sunny, Beautiful 
Distance: Sprint 

Swim: 9:20 (19th)
T1: 0:45
Bike: 41:52 (55th)
T2: 0:38
Run:  18:50 (4th)

Overall: 1:11:23 (13th)
Age Group: 3rd 

 Absolutely gorgeous course this weekend. Small lake swim. Bike loop was an out and back that took us thru some rolling hills and pretty neighborhoods. Run took place inside Lake Carolina Development ... man would it be a great place to live. The hills really played a role in my bike performance (that and I need to get stronger) along with the run. At roughly the 1.5 mile turn around, the course featured a steep grade of at least 10% for 1/2 a mile. Yikes!! My legs felt tired going into the day, but all and all happy with the performance.

 Learning experience - Don't ever give up until your drinking water in the post race tent! At the very end of this race, I was gaining on a fellow athlete. Literally about 200meters away from the finish I put a kick on and passed him with force. Unfortunately, I guess he had looked at my calf and saw that I was in his age category (I had no clue) however he decided to kick hard back at me so I had to keep it moving!! I quickly kept the jets on, but here's the kicker. For those who compete in triathlons you've probably noticed 2 strips of finish line mats. Typically one before the ACTUAL finish line. For some reason in my brain, I thought the first met registers the chip time. Now running at about 5:30pace into the finish I ended up slowing up before the OFFICIAL timing mat. Result? P.J. (who I met after the race) ended up finishing 1 second in front of me. Unreal. I like to think I am quite humble guy so I went right up to him and congratulated him on his last minute charge. Fair and square he had scored 2nd place in our age group. The coolest part is we were both psyched. There is not always the opportunity to put in a charge like the one we did at the end so no complaints here. NEXT TIME THOUGH - its hard running all the way to the ACTUAL timing mat.

Anyways that's the report ... fun as usual ... learned ... ready for the next one!

I'm now exactly 8 weeks out from Louisville Ironman. Can you believe how fast time really goes? I simply see August 26th as just one more transition. I'll be going from triathlete to Ironman athlete. My life has brought me to this race for a reason and there's no fighting it. Not fighting is important to note here because life is going to throw you constant transitions. You have to sort through them. You have look at every one as a positive one. Even when you may not believe. Just like in a Triathlon there's a lot that goes into each transition. Whether it's T1 or T2. If you freak out and don't stay calm your going to take longer. You'll do more harm than good and it will take you longer to get out. It's bound to happen every once and awhile, but TRANSITIONS OF ANY KIND ARE A SKILL. The tougher the transition, larger the reward. 

Brian Mackenzie's book: Power, Speed, Endurance comes out October 1st .. Pre-Order now!!

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