Ok, gonna try this one again...
It's been about a month since I seriously got down to my progressive training program and I am at a point now where I am reassessing things. My progress has been great, and I could not be happier with my gains. But at the same time, I know that there have been a handful of mistakes that have slowed down my potential along the way, and as only a human can, all I can do is learn from these mistakes and tweak the program accordingly. As I prepare for a bit of travel around Christmas, I have the opportunity to take a step back and check out what I can do to change things up, and make sure I am finding that balance that is needed to not only compete at this stuff, but to feel great as well!
Mistake one: metcons.
Looking through my log-book recently, I noticed this crazy consistency: times in the 11 minute range. Different energy systems are called upon when working under different time domains, and the range between 8ish and 15ish minutes is generally one where you can go all out, but you will have nothing left afterward (if you truly go all out). The longer ones are really just a test of endurance, the shorter ones are all about the sprint. And while the range I have been playing in sees some of the most effective gains, I should not be programming them in so often. I kid you not, in the past two weeks I have done 6 or 7 workouts that took me around 11 minutes. I need to program the shorter, heavier ones in a great deal more, I think I will see some even greater results if I program those in more often. Also, I will lessen my risk of burning out. Which is good.
Mistake two: running.
I react extremely well to running and I have not been doing enough if it in my opinion. This showed very clearly last week when I just crashed at the track. And then again the other day when I hobbled in with a 23 minute 5k. In the past, when I program consistent track work, 1-2 times per week distance runs (2-5 miles), and running based metcons, I saw gains in my overall fitness leap very quickly.
The thing that does not make me all that worried about this is that I think I adapt very quickly to running, and with a couple weeks focus, I'll be back up to where I want to be with it. I DO have some pretty specific goals with running after all, and I would love, love, love to break through those goals in dramatic fashion!
Mistake three: fuel.
I have said it before and I'll say it again: I do not eat enough. This is a very difficult thing for me to grasp as I have programmed into my head these habits that I have such a hard time breaking. While I am continuously experimenting with different restrictions and additions to see how my energy levels, sleep patterns and fitness gains react, I always seem to neglect the one key factor: quantity. I tend to opt for less because a few years back all I wanted to do was lose fat. I got obsessed with counting calories and following set programs and punishing myself every time I had a treat (which turned out to be a lot of the time...). Now, I am very understanding of the best way to fuel myself, and I need to factor in the amount of activity I am doing. It's a freaking TON. So, I need to eat a freaking ton! Great part of this is that it's the holidays; I will be heading into them with my mouth open wide, completely guilt free.
Another point to be made here is that I feel fine right now. Shoot, in fact, I feel GREAT. But from experience I know that with the lacking fuel at the moment, I will inevitably crash and burn. I am happy that I can catch it now, and as I incorporate more fuel into my days, I can ride this awesome feeling farther and farther. If I keep my log-book going, and make sure not to skip meals, I am certain I can break those last remaining bad habits and begin to really enforce the good ones! Eat clean, eat a lot, eat all the time!
Awesomeness one: metcons.
Yeah, this goes both ways. While I see the mistakes I made here, I also see that what I have been doing has greatly improved my ability to suffer. I feel as though sometime about two weeks ago, something just clicked in me and I can now just all out GO when time begins. I think this has something to do with trying so many different things, and working in so many different capacities that my body has become comfortable with going at 100%, no matter what the task may be. Sure I struggle like crazy, and get times I am not very happy with here and there; but, as a whole, I feel like I have come around to exactly where I want to be in terms of approach with these crazy metcons. I just need to be a hair smarter in how I write them and program them in.
Awesomeness two: strength.
Besides my strict press, I have been increasing my strength and power numbers on a wonderfully regular basis. I am right on track to hit the numbers I want to hit by the time I get to my testing dates, and I am pretty certain I will see myself hitting numbers I did not expect to be able to get to. After doing a handful of strength training programs over the past 8 months, I have settled on a hybrid program that I feel works very well with my body and mind, and seeing the results confirms that. The best part is that I am seeing these results with no adverse effects to my metcon capabilities. With the addition of a little more running, and swimming once or twice a week, I think I may be able to get that well-roundedness am shooting for.
As mentioned, the strict press is where I am seeing nothing happen. But with the improvement of my handstand push ups (as in, I can actually do them now!), I am confident that all I need to do is re-look at my approach here and things will change. I wrote about this a couple posts ago, and I am ready to adjust my programming accordingly.
Awesomeness three: what's to come.
I can't go into detail with exactly what my program is about to look like because from here on out it is about as up in the air as a serious program can be. With the CrossFit Community Month about to hit, I will be attacking a month where I have very little control over what I do. This is going to be a huge challenge for me to not over-train, and to stay on top of things to make sure I am constantly seeing progress. The only thing stopping me from doing ten straight days of shoulder work is myself, and I need to always make sure I am protecting myself even though the temptation to just do whatever is written. I will be taking a good deal of time organizing the whole month to make sure I schedule proper breaks, and have the time and energy to keep up the work on my weaknesses to stay balanced. It will be a challenge, but a fun one all the same. Once February hits, I will be taking another look at my training to make sure I am on the right track. That's when you will see a post filled with plenty of details and geeked-out information.
The main thing that I want to stay focused on though, is my perspective towards all this craziness. I had a great conversation with Big Dan this past week where he told me how he went so overboard with training last year that it became a huge challenge to just walk into the gym. I refuse to do that. It's what inspired this post really. I always need to remember to take the necessary step back to look objectively at what I am doing. I do all this because I love doing it. I love fitness, working out, and challenging myself. And the second it becomes a chore, the second my desire to compete takes over the fun I have, I need to remind myself why I am doing it. I love to sweat. I love the feeling of pushing myself to the limits. I love moving heavy things around. I love overcoming challenges that I put myself in front of. And I love sharing all this with anyone who wants to listen.
So, now I'm off to cook up a boat-load of food, eat it all up; get some sleep, then go attack tomorrows workout with a passion!
Never Stop, GET FIT.
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