Monday, 26 May 2014

Giving Up the Gimmicks

If you have been following along this year, than it should come as no surprise that I have been struggling with the whole training-confidence thing. I have been trying a million and one different things and floundering a bit.

I started running and training at a very complicated time in my life. In fact I ran my first half marathon the day before my double mastectomy. And as you know the past 2 years since then have not exactly been peaches and cream, so I have just trying to keep my head above water. Any training, any race result - was great, because I managed to make it out there at all. But this year, this year I have expectations. There is no cardiac surgery, no battle with BRCA1, no life altering loss - which to me means no excuses. Just showing up isn't good enough. This year I am expecting big things. This year I want to see what I am made of. This year it is all supposed to come together.

As you can see the pressure is on (or at least in my head it is). And as a result I have been trying everything under the sun to give me an edge. I went vegan. I started fixating on the scale and the whole "weight-to-power" ratio thing.  I tried fasted-cardio. I asked my coach to ramp my mileage. And give me more speed work. And give me more workouts on the bike. And I need to weight train. And I need more yoga. And... I think you can see things were getting out of hand over here.

So Wednesday night I had a long Heart-to-Heart with Coach Michelle. She informed me that there is no way I train the way I am asking to train. It is way too many hours, way too much intensity, and way too much mileage. I will get injured or burn out. So I need to relax, give up the gimmicks, pick ONE training strategy, concentrate on that, and trust the process.

So that is what I am going to do (Scout Honor!) from here on out!
  • I have chosen to focus on Quality Mileage, as opposed to Quantity. 
  • I am going to spend more time on the Bike, as I think this is the area that I am weakest
  • And I am going to focus on eating healthy, whole, unprocessed food, without stressing out too much about calories or anything else.
I have been making progress this year. Last Tuesday speed session proved how far I have come. I ran my intervals at a 4:30km/pace (7:15mile/pace), which is huge considering I was struggling to maintain a 6:00km/pace (9:39mile/pace) this time last year. So it clear despite my stress that progress is being made. And that these improvements are NOT from any of my short term gimmicks. It is progress I have made by listening to my body, eating well (most of the time), and training consistently. There are no gimmicks or shortcuts involved. You simply need to take care of your body and do the work.

Deep down I know this, which is why I am giving up the gimmicks.

Love Your Favourite Darwinian Fail,
Krysten

27 comments:

  1. Sometimes simplifying is what we all just really need!! Here's to getting rid of the gimmicks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. There is a saying that says you can analyze until you're paralyzed and I think the same thing can happen with anything...just over thinking things when the basics will do just fine. Continue taking care of you. ♡

    ReplyDelete
  3. love this post. it's so easy to get wrapped up in headline-like 'gimmicks', as you put it. thanks for helping a mere mortal like me feel like there can be sanity in training. after all, we run because we want to, not because we have to.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 4:30/k?! Holy Batman girl! You are rocking it. You've found what works and clearly gimmicks don't. It's hard work that results in improvements and you are living proof! Best of luck with your upcoming goals (and biking ;) )!

    ReplyDelete
  5. so glad you talked to coach! i think she is spot on. We want you focusing on enjoying this, right? no injuries allowed! xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  6. YES!!!!! That Michelle is a smart cookie. :) Put your focus into ONE main thing. Working on the bike is a great idea. It's the longest leg of the race so it's important you put in the work there so you can feel confident in your ability to get 'er done!

    ReplyDelete
  7. KISS Applies in everything you do, including training, since you are doing the TRI thing, its all about Key workouts. No more no less. You are already putting time. Bike will improve your over all cardio capacity so it helps running. For swimming I would get a coach. I have a friend who invested in swimming coach at never looked back. - All and all have fun with it ;).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that acronym!! So cute and so true!!
      I have thought about joining a swim group, but I am not sure it would work well time-wise. So I don't know if it will happen this year

      Delete
  8. The improvement in your speed training is astounding. I finished my first half on the May long weekend and averaged at about 6:59/km so I'm in awe of what you're accomplishing.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a great post! I love that you are giving up the gimmicks. That is the way I have come to feel about my body and my health too. I'm not training for anything at the moment - but I want to get back to running a 5km (just running it, any speed will do, thank you) and not focusing as much on the scale or calories or whatever it is but simply eating healthy whole foods (with the occasional red velvet cupcake because... well, its obvious)

    Good luck in your training - I cannot wait to see what you end up accomplishing (also, your pace is currently incredible)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have been there. From trying to eat a certain way, to adding certain food, taking away certain food, trying this new training program, that new training program, this gadget, that gadget, you name it.
    You're right, it takes work. There aren't shortcuts.
    Thank you for this reminder <3

    ReplyDelete
  11. Bravo Krysten! I'm learning the same lesson as you and also like you, am definitely weakest on the bike. I think signing up for a June duathlon was one of the best things I could have done because it has forced me to get out there and face my fear! I'm so excited to follow along with your (gimmick-free) training. :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. You are making amazing progress. I think it is smart to narrow it down and focus on just a few things instead of so many all at once.

    ReplyDelete
  13. You are amazing. You have made amazing progress as well. So true. Out with the gimmicks. Pick one thing and go with it. I find I want to try so many new things...I lose sight of what's important!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Yay for the bike! I have been so grateful to be riding while I'm recovering from yet another foot fracture. I'm thinking I need more bike...less running...sadly.

    Wendy@TakingtheLongWayHome

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yay! It is so easy to get bogged down about everything we read - strengthen your posterior chain. increase your range of motion, MAF training, speedwork, hills etc... It's very overwhelming! Great job on realising that doing ALL of it actually prevents progress. Hugs - I hope you have a great training summer!

    ReplyDelete
  16. You are doing so great Krysten. So glad that you had a good talk with your coach and I think that it's so true that sometimes, we just have to simplify. That's what I'm trying to do. I think that I've been driving myself crazy thinking of all the things that I should/want to do with regard to training which has only resulted in being burnt out and injured. So yes, simplifying is good!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think you're making the smart choice here! Def focus on the bike, it's the longest part of the race and also the fresher you come off the bike, the better your run will be! So by focusing on one thing you're actually improving two disciplines! Oh and 7:15 is freakin' FAST btw!! Awesome stuff!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't get it twisted that was only for 200-400m intervals haha but I am working on it!

      Delete
  18. Quality is key for sure girlie - especially to get the most out of training!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Your approach to everything is so inspiring. You go, lady. Thanks for being someone that we all can look up to.

    ReplyDelete
  20. It's so easy to get wrapped up in all the gimmicks! I'm totally guilty of this. But hey, you have to figure out what works and you can't figure it out if you don't try. Your new training plan sounds great! I can't wait to hear how it goes for you!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I'm so healthy living add like that too. "Sugar-free"--okay! "Run all the time"--okay! "Strength train all the time"--okay! "Count calories"--okay! "Eat real food"--okay! Seriously, ridiculous. You're absolutely right there are many ways to "do" healthy living, but there are no gimmicks either.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Love this post Krysten! You are such an inspiration!!!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Many times we have to step back to go forward... HUGS!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  24. You are just amazing to be no matter what! I think quality is always more important than quantity so you have the right idea. Never give up because you are doing great and you are beautiful too!

    ReplyDelete
  25. I just love your honesty in this post. It can be so hard when we want something so bad (a new PR or to qualify for Boston or to complete and Ironman or whatever...) to go to extremes to get what we want. We get anxious and want to pile it all on while we are in the planning mode. But I think what I keep re-learning and what you've said in you post, is that the only way to make those goals a reality is one step at a time. It's the little things: getting up when the alarm goes off, running the miles on the plan, not skipping, doing the drills, doing the work. It's not big radical changes its being faithful and diligent with the small stuff and then race day it all comes together. You are doing great Krysten and it will start to come together!

    ReplyDelete