Friday, January 25, 2013

Learning by Testing

Now that 2013 is here, its time to recommit to at least one monthly blog. Call me out if I don't keep to that statement. I mean it. The fact of the matter is that things have been nothing short of hectic, but good hectic. I'm just coming off another marathon and with my recent move into the role of Fitness Director at HHHealth, I have been overwhelmed with excitement and new opportunity. Now seems like a good time to talk about learning by testing.

I believe that every human is different. We operate differently emotionally, physically and mentally. You have your own operation system. Of course there are some general principles that everyone should stick to, but how we use those principles are totally up to us. Endurance is about getting stronger not faster. If your muscles are strong your joints will be able to handle the carnage. If you run with good technique you'll be putting yourself in the safest and most efficient position. That's called Pose. If you eat clean and are still able to enjoy life you're doing it right.

As I mentioned, I recently got back from a marathon. The Charleston Marathon to be exact. It was an incredible experience because not only did I finish at my goal time, but I did it on the least amount of mileage of my short running career. It baffles me that people continue to slog miles after miles to "GET READY" for a marathon. Folks if you're not a believer yet, I just ran 2:58:48 training less than 15miles on any given week. Good enough for 11th Overall, 3rd Age. And yes, I said 15miles. Feel free to check out the evidence here. Now I'm not trying to brag, but what I am saying is that my training consisted of 3-5 WODs a week and 2-3 days of running maximum (most weeks were only 2). The furthest run in one stint was a 10miler (Which I should have pushed the intensity on a little more.) Check out this article from competitor. Really squatting is going to make us better? Good post Nate!

So preparation for this go around was test by busy situation. With the job change, time did not allow for as much focus. Yes an excuse, but shit happens. We learn and grow from it. This was the focus:
  • No more than 15miles a week 
  • 2 10Ks leading Up 
  • At least 3-4 Conjugate Method WODs
  • 10mile run longest run 
  • More Technique practice 
  • Modified Paleo Diet (Added more starch) 
  • Low GI Gels during race 
Actual training:
  • No more than 15miles a week 
  • Races: 1 - 10K, 1- 10K/5K, 1 - 5K *used a TT 
  • 3 WODs more often than 4 per week - I should have done more STRENGTH meaning more Dynamic and Max efforts. I still catch myself with a little LSD in me at times. 
  • Technique practice could have been more frequent 
  • Diet? Real close to Paleo off the reservation 1-2x per week 
  • Gels? 3 hours after the race my stomach finally revitalized. In my PR marathon, I used CLIF shots, but this time I went back to lower GI gels choc #9. Should have tested the nutrition before this one. 3Fuel may have been the way to go again.
What did I learn from this test? It didn't come down to the amount of "MILES" I put in. I could have had more CONSISTENCY with the intensity and technique within the miles that I did put in. Working where I work, I am constantly moving therefore recovery is one of the most difficult things. I do want to test going "LONG" once in a while, but I know that my improvements lie in getting stronger. Back Squat is only 205 still. Most importantly though, I need to find a better way to recover.  That being said the next go around will be an increased focus on the DE and ME efforts a little bit more. I am also going to dial in on the mobility. The best thing you can learn from this post is to go prchase a journal if you have not already.

Log your food, workouts, technique practice and mobility. You can't get better or improve unless you identify the things that you do make you better. Same holds true in life it's quite interesting. Stick to the foundation of Skill - Intensity - Duration. Think Stronger - Not Faster. Above all, test these things for yourself. Everyone is different. Some people can add a little volume. I believe some folks need a little more starch in the nutrition. Figure out your operation system and you'll be great.

In case you missed it...

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