Training: Some people love to workout, but they are in the minority. If you are like most people then you probably can tolerate exercise, sometimes. But most of the time you see it as a chore, or maybe even as punishment. But even if you like to exercise, it can be hard to stick to it. This is an internal struggle I battle almost constantly, I just keep telling myself “stick to the program, stick to it.” I have built discipline through this practice but it takes a great deal of effort and takes some of the fun out of working out.
But when I decided to do this race, after a 2 year hiatus from obstacle racing, I knew I needed some specific training. I had not been running or doing endurance work, so I knew if I just winged it, there was no way I would be competitive or even competent and there was no point. So I set out to find a plan and actually got help from another trainer (even trainers need personal training), and then I got to work. I was doing a huge volume of work by training 6 days a week for an hour or more a day, working myself hard for 8 weeks (with a week of reduced intensity to recover). There is no way I would have stuck with that plan unless I was doing the race, no way. The competition fueled my desire to train but more importantly to be consistent and push myself every workout to improve my performance.
Not everyone needs to compete in a race or event, but it does give your training an outlet. You can do this same thing with a physically active hobby that you want to get better at or even start doing. This may be a more enjoyable process overall because you get to do the thing you like more often. As opposed to a competition which may be months away, and in the meantime all you are doing is training: the work. Rock climbing for instance, is a very difficult sport that requires you to be light, strong, and enduring. Working on losing body fat and improving your upper body strength will make you a better rock climber, so your gym workouts will be more meaningful to you. This can apply to any other activity you enjoy such as kayaking, mountain biking, martial arts or obstacle course racing! My next event will be a strength and power competition, the True Athlete Games in Austin. I have until February so this will be a great opportunity to develop my strength as well as my will power. Find your competitive side, and train like a champion.