Running is a highly individualized sport. A sport where you'll certainly start out chatting with friends, but when that gun fires or siren sounds it's pretty much the end of any conversation that happened to be going on. Interestingly enough, the races I've gotten the most fulfillment and fun from have been Relays. Now I've only complete two "running team" events (Cremator 2011 and Cremator 2012), but man am I grateful we took the plunge both years. To put it simply, the best suffering is always done with someone else by your side.
With the Cremator in mind, my topic for the evening is "Suffering." My question for you is do you know how to do it? Do you know what its like to push yourself to your very last limit? You know leave it all out there? I think this is what separates CrossFit athletes from the regular endurance athlete is that they know how to suffer. The reality is that CrossFitters do it every day. The box creates that environment. Now I am not trying to generalize the entire LSD Endurance community and say they never "suffer" in training. I am just saying CFE athletes and CrossFitters do it more often. It may be that we enjoy it, but the point is that we're pushing ourselves to that level daily. It may only be for 10 minutes, but I say in every personal training session. "All I need is 10minutes."
Learning to suffer humbles your body. It creates an environment where you have to react. No only physically to speed up or slow down, but mentally. You have to mentally convince yourself that it's all worth it. You have to get in your head. I believe that when you teach your body to suffer you have an edge against anyone who toes the line. Attitude predicts a lot. Words to create worlds and if you think you're going to have to stop you will.
This is an interesting topic. Interesting in that I am sure everyone has a different take on what "suffering" means to them. In addition, the question may come up why am I putting myself through the suffering? What am I proving? I ask myself this question rather often. I look back on some week's and I am like wholly molly why am I training so hard? Why did I just run 19miles in the blazing July Heat? For me it comes down to having courage. Coach Craig says it all the time, "What we do in here (the box) Makes everything better out there..." That is why I suffer.
I teach my body this so I can show others that no other situation is ever that bad. To show them that the ability to push is learned. You can turn your intentions into a reality. It takes believe - positivity - and a simple "I can, I can." The more you teach yourself to suffer, the better life gets. Period.
How to you begin to learn? Here's a few of my favorite interval sessions that provide athletes with a little taste of how to suffer:
1) Tabada Treadmill
Set treadmill to 12% - Plug speed to 85% of 5K PR
20sec ON, 10sec OFF DO NOT REDUCE the speed.
Trust me this is no easy 4minute workout. You'll suffer.
2) Death by 10 Meters
Place two sets of cones roughly 10m across.
You have 60 Seconds to run 10m, athletes will add 10m each round
GO UNTIL YOU CANT KEEP GOING
Huge mental workout here gang! If you do it right you should be suffering!
3) 10 x 100m on 60sec rests
Goal is to hold your interval 2-3 seconds
Absolutely intense because as you get to the 7th interval your legs are already screaming.
Want to improve your deadlift? Suffer thru these athletes.
Awesome article rookies with science on why you do not need to be running those 20mile runs all the time. That is not suffering!!!
Cremator 50 Mile Ultra Run
July 21, 2012 6AM START!
Team Less Miles, More CrossFit had 3 Teams REPRESENT!
Team #1 - 2nd Overall, 5:51:03 (Mike, Adam, Sara, Me) CC - Mary
Team #2 - 3rd Overall, 7:22:08 (Chris, Kate, David, Sarah) CC - Vlad
Team #3 - 4th Overall, 8:32:33 (Tara, Lynn, Tara, Ashley) CC - Anne, and Mary!
MVP of the day - This one goes out to Mike C. Why you may ask? Because this dude put in the most miles supporting every team member out on the course. He was relentless in helping Sarah to the finish line when she was nearly puking. He pushed Ashley thru her remaining 2miles in the 2pm 100degree heat! Mike truly showed what team Less Miles is all about. Grateful for ya Mike!
Wake Up DUDE - Adam M. takes the crown on this one. He would have overslept event entirely If I didn't go and wake him up. Great recovery though, this guy was able to cruise us up to the start line right @6am(literally as the runners were taking off). The worst part is his bag was completely packed, race number laid out, and the frying pan was ready for the eggs ... buddy, what happened!!?? Haha Stoked that it all worked out and we made it on time. It certainly gave us an interesting morning. Always good when the Coach doesn't show up to the team's "A" Race on time!
CREW CHIEFS!! - Mary, Vlad, Ann and Ice Bucket/Bath Mike M. made this day possible! You know its a fun day when your Crew Chiefs are even more excited than you. In a word these 4 folks were selfless. They were there for the team. Anything needed they made it happen. No checkpoints missed and all smiles. THANK YOU GUYS!!
All and all this is simply a snapshot of an incredible day. All three Less Miles teams achieved things that they didn't think were possible. Battled the heat with a smile, everyone worked together. Each athlete pushed to their limit. Every step had purpose.
Your turn to Just Get Real, Learn how to suffer!