Compromise? For Success, Fit Your Workout Schedule To Your Personality


Hi folks,

Here is one of the race posters that Nick and Myles, both 13 and two of my best supporters, drew for the race. Anyone know what the structure on the left might be?

Here we are in beautiful Lake Placid after the race, with a deadline for people to get back to North Carolina by Saturday (four days away). We are debating what to do next. There are two camps and an observer (myself – I have no deadlines right now). Camp one says, “lets go to Montreal for a day.” This is one hundred miles in the wrong direction for getting back home. The other camp vociferously cries, “we want to go home now, and we don’t want to drive too far each day so we can have fun along the way.”

Here is another poster that Myles drew for the race. Great support crew! Lucky athlete!

I finally came up with an acceptable compromise; drive to Montreal for the day, leave by 5:00 pm and get in 200 miles towards home before stopping for the night in a motel on the interstate. Everyone was happy with that, which got me to thinking about the role of compromise in training.

If you want to stay in good shape then training or working out will need to be an essential component of your life. But we come with different personalities and life styles. I recommend that you make a workout plan, and then divide the training into three types.

  1. Must do, and must do in the correct order: For instance, for endurance sports long workouts, up to 6-7 hours are critical during the three months leading up to a race. For triathlons the order is critical. If you have a long ride scheduled for Saturday, followed by a long run on Sunday, you cannot switch them around, as you are training to run on tired legs. Doing the run first would negate this gain. These workouts are essential base training, and they should be built into your week with as little risk of interference from your job, kids, and other aspects of your life as possible. This is critical for balance and your family should be with the program and not neglected in any way.
  2. Essential training for which a strict schedule is less important: for instance, you can do core training whenever you like, even during your lunch break. Short runs can be woven into your life as you need little equipment, and in the winter you need not even work up a sweat (no need to shower) if you work on techniques, such as low impact running. Make sure you fit it in, but don’t worry so much about when. I have one rule for my training, which is to never train too late in the day as it ruins my sleep. You may find this no problem and hate to work out early.
  3. Nice to do workouts: these aren’t critical, but you feel energetic and would like to go to the company gym to work on something, or everyone is asleep and an early morning run before breakfast is tempting. Under no circumstances should you use this as an excuse to over train, and it should be built into your training plan under optional workouts.

Your personality will eventually dictate your approach, so you might as well accept it and make it part of the program. As an example, I am happy to run around the track for hours (literally), whereas Deb has to run somewhere, such as downtown. If Deb had all her runs at the track she would last about a week, at most. So if we want to run together we tend to run trails that lead somewhere. To me this is very odd. My ability to go around and around the track like a hamster on a wheel is equally odd to Deb.

Your coach should also be apprised of these issues, and be prepared to work with you to make it fun for you to train. If it isn’t fun most of the time you just won’t be able to hack it over the long term. This is equally true of blogging, by the way.

Happy training!

-k Your Medical Mind


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.