So here’s the graph of my last 15 months of training. The main body of the graph is showing my fitness number.
This starts a year ago July, when I was coming back from yet another knee injury. I held out pretty well until the first circled area – I always take a dip during ski season – which was early June; that’s when I decided that I was going to have to dial back my training a good bit, if I was going to continue working.
The second circled area was when I got my pellets in my butt, and then went to Iceland the next week.
The third circle is when I moved into the Dog House.
Were it not for those events, I’d be in much better shape than I am now.
See, here’s the thing – those sharp inclines after those circles? Those aren’t increases in training – those are when I went back to doing the exact same thing every week. But doing the same sorts of things every week, or maintaining a consistent training load, is essential to increasing fitness.
Not increasing the load – just sticking with it, week in, week out.
“A small daily task, if it be really daily, will beat the labours of a spasmodic Hercules.” — Anthony Trollope
I know somebody who took up endurance athletics a couple of years ago. He started running and got a bike, and also started lifting. He’s made a good bit of progress.
What I find interesting, though, is how much his progress looks like this graph. And it’s not because he gets injured. He just…well, he stops. Takes a break. Takes it easy. Wants to do other stuff.
This may mean that he is actually better balanced than I am. Probably indicates more maturity and suchlike.
But it probably won’t get him where he says he wants to be with respect to times and distances.
Lately, I’ve been really tired from time to time. But I haven’t let it interfere with my training volume. I’ve let intensity slip, but not volume. I don’t care how fast or hard teh workout is – but I just want to finish it.
My mantra has been “The pace is not the point. To finish is the point.” I swim breathing bilaterally – so I use this as a cadence, with the three beats being my three strokes between breaths.
I run with a four-breath cadence, so I use the same mantra, but add a one-breath rest after each sentence.
Over and over again, in my life – not just in training, but is so many things – I find that consistency is more important than level of effort. Now, this may be my lesson in this life, because, before the fourth of May, 1985, I never did the right thing for two weeks, in anything.
One benefit of retirement is that it is allowing me to go ahead and do the &*^%$#@! workouts, even when I don’t want to – knowing that I can go home and take a nap, if necessary, afterwards.
Of course, I’m not sure how well that freedom compares to, say, being ridiculously overpaid. But it’s still a benefit 🙂