As athletes, we know that it is necessary to progress through phases in our season in order to enhance performance systematically.
But what about the first time you train for something for the very first time?
You see, there are stages of learning as athletes and we must go through these stages as we progress with our skills and fitness.
Once you become a veteran to a distance, things change. There are more gains in fitness to be felt but the mind also changes. No longer are you seeing challenges for the first time or experiencing exciting first-ever moments but instead you reflect...a lot.
There was once a time when you thought you were super fast, really in shape, exceptionally strong and it likely all felt so natural. These thoughts come and go at random times throughout a training journey.
When you, the athlete, trains for a new distance for the first time, there is little awareness of what you are doing wrong, if you are doing things wrong. How do you know if you should do better or differently? There is no past in your athletic career to recognize what should have happened at specific phases in your training. Although this may look like a very scary time for you in terms of you lacking an understanding as to how to train for an event for the very first time, there is a special period during this training when you do begin to refine skills and feel more prepared with each training session that you put behind you.
As athletes, we have an unique opportunity, every year, to begin a new season of training. We get to build a new foundation that will stand as the platform of our season fitness progression.
During this time, there is the opportunity to get excited about the journey ahead. To be OK with the progression of fitness and that yes, it did feel easier at one time. But, we have this beautiful blank canvas ahead of us as to how we will paint our season. There is a tendency to think back and to feel frustrated about fitness (and perhaps skills) in the beginning of the season but recognize that this is normal and necessary.
So why should now be any different just because you no longer a newbie?
Once you find yourself years into a sport, you begin to accumulate PR's, best performances and times when you feel/felt in the best shape ever. No more do you get excited about doing something for the first time but instead you get excited to do it again...but even faster.
You begin to train with higher expectations as to what you feel you should be doing at this point in your journey. Whether it's because you did it in the past or you have confidence that you should be there right now, this is often one downside of being a seasoned athlete.
There's always that one time.
Yes there was a time when I could swim a 1:11 x 100 breastroke in college and a 2:19 x 200 butterfly but now I get excited if I can hold repeating 100's on a 1:30 cycle. Yes, there was a time when Karel had a higher FTP on the bike and he could push more watts but that was before he found a way to ride strong and run a 3:11 marathon off a 112 mile bike ride.
This was our first event in Greenville and a great opportunity to be around other runners.
The beautiful thing about being an athlete is never losing the athlete that lies with us. Regardless of the fitness, the love of competition, pushing and refusing to quit still comes out on race day.
So even though I may not have ran my fastest pace in a running race (technically it was a PR since I have never ran an 8K before :) I was incredibly proud of my body that it knew exactly what to do on race day.
Give the best effort possible with my current level of fitness.
Karel and I both surprised ourselves as we never thought we'd both run so fast without any speed work in our body.
Although we have no way to predict the future, this was a great confidence booster that our transition plan is working.
Get stronger to get faster and then go longer.
A new journey of training for the same distance triathlons.
Total time: 34:40
Average pace: 6:56 min/mile
3rd age group, 13th overall female
Mile 1: 6:49
Mile 2: 7:17
Mile 3 6:52
Mile 4: 7:10
Mile 5: 7:05
Karel Garmin 910 data
Total time: 29:01
Average pace: 5:45 min/mile
2nd age group, 10th overall
Mile 1: 5:15
Mile 2: 5:53
Mile 3: 6:02
Mile 4: 6:07
Mile 5: 5:29