Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Training in Fear

I've come to realize these past few month that I've been training in fear. I don't really know how to explain this, but ever since the marathon I've been shaken up.

Every workout I do I hold back, worrying that giving it that extra little oomph my be the move that takes me out. I had somewhat diminished this thought from my mind over the fall and into the holidays because I wasn't training all that much, however, now that I've amped up my training, specifically with running I'm feeling little aches and pains which make my mind scream out catastrophe. Is this normal? Is it just that I'm getting older and my body doesn't rebound like it once did? 

Yikes!!! At 23 am I already starting to head over the hill? I sure hope not. Over the past couple years after a hard back to back workouts I would hear people joke about being young. I think these days are starting to catch up to me.

Or maybe I'm simply demanding more out of my training than I ever have before. Where as I would do two back to back practices, they were filled with junk effort where as now I would like to think every workout is more focused on improvement. Is it simply maturity setting in that I am thinking more into the future rather than simply about my aches and pains in the now?

I think its necessary to have some reservations when training, that being said I'm planning on cutting out some of my run practices to air on the safe side rather than be aggressive. A quote one of my coaches from McGill Triathlon Club gave me and I'll always remember (Unfortunately I can't remember which coach told me!) was

"You will never win a race by doing one practice, however, you can lose one."

This is kinda my modo, if I'm going to mess up my training I rather it be on the low side and have to dig deep in a race rather than be burnt out before it even starts. 

Reading in the Bowerman biography in the chapters about Steve Prefontaine, Kenny Moore (author) describes two aspects of Pre which allowed him to succeed, first was pure natural ability, but the second he was able to push and hurt more than anyone else on the track. Now throwing modesty to the wayside, I consider this to be one of my strength, during races I hit pace times that I can't will myself near during practice, but only if I haven't burnt out before the race. If I'm feeling a tinge of injury I wimp out.

What are the thoughts of some of my more veteran athletes? Is this a normal progression training in fear? Does this hold you back? 


MJ said...

I think it's pretty natural to be a bit gun-shy after an injury. The invincible feeling is gone... That could be part of it.

I can testify that the aches and pains are for sure going to increase as you get older but I think the thoughts we have about them can be clouded by specific emotions of the moment.

Example: Many athletes (myself included) start to feel all sorts of little twinges, aches, etc. in the days before a race. I don't think there are actually any more than normal (probably less with the taper) but the mind amplifies them.

Maybe you are "on guard" after your foot pain/injury from a few months ago? It probably has you analyzing every little pain more than you ever did before.

I bet you will do a race, throw caution to the wind (hopefully be fine), and this worry will fade into the background.

You're definitely not old yet...

Vincent said...

thanks, I'm definitely on guard since the marathon, every time my foot feels a little sore I start limping around on it out of fear it will come back.

All that being said, I can't wait to tear up my first races in May!

don said...

I have become a fan of building the big base of training fitness, using that base as a platform from which to apply "add-ons" or training options. If I keep the base strong then I find I have fewer injuries and therefore more training options/opportunities.

Rob said...

Lance phoned for you this morning after you had left, he said, "Message for Vince, tell that Grandpa to feed the warrior"