Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"The More You Sweat In Peace, The Less You Bleed In War"

I have heard the above quote attributed to several leaders throught history, but I first became aware of it from General Tommy Franks (former CENTCOM Commander) so I am going to give him credit for it here.

We as Endurance Athletes can apply this to our everyday training. Now make no mistake endurance sports (even Ironman) are not comparable to war in anyway. However one of the biggest mistakes I see athletes make is not "training as they fight" and that is to say they train one way and then expect to race a different way on race day. One common mistake is not training at very low intensity and then trying to race at a higher intensity during competition. Most athletes see Base Training as "slow and easy" and to some degree it is, that being said you can't expect to train at Zone 1 and Zone 2 and then race at Zone 3 or 4. Don't misinterpret what I am saying as you should go hard all the time or do every workout at Race Pace or intensity, that is not the case either. What we should strive for is a good mix of hard days that mimic race conditions (i.e. terrain and intesity) and easy days that let our body recover and absorb the training we have done.

To tie this all together with the title of this post, the more race specific type of training you can do during your preparation the less likely there will be something catastrophic that happens during the race that is within your control (GI Issues, Pacing, Lactic Buffering, etc.) and to some degree what is out of your control (flat tire, missing equipment from tranisition, race weather conditions).

Happy Training!

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