Essential Sports Nutrition


Private training camp/weekend recap - stretching the comfort zone

I remember when I was in graduate school, working towards my Master's in Exercise Physiology, and I just loved studying the information that I already knew. In other words, if there was a topic that I understood really well, I would often find myself re-reading it or testing myself over and over again because it made me feel confident that I really understood the information. But then when it came to topics that were difficult and unfamiliar, I would often find myself pushing those aside so that I could go back to reading what I already knew.

Does this sound familiar?

It's very normal for athletes to enjoy doing what is easy and familiar. This is often referred to a comfort zone. If something is unnatural or scary, it is not welcomed and typically, it's not as fun as what is well-known and comfortable.

Whether it's a fear of the unknown, worries of messing up, concerns of making mistakes or fear of trying something new, staying within the comfort zone is an obstacle that keeps many athletes from reaching their full potential. Similar to my enjoyment of studying what I already know, I eventually had to force myself to step outside of my comfort zone to learn new information ....and this is where the growth happens.

If you keep doing the same things over and over, you can expect the same results. 

Although it's never easy or comfortable to stretch a comfort zone, if you don't step outside, you will never discover new things about yourself that you never knew existed.

In an attempt to stretch your comfort zone, you may find yourself stepping too far outside, which then creates unnecessary anxiety. The optimal zone of stretching the comfort zone is to discover a place where you are just slightly uncomfortable but you can still perform well and be productive with learning new skills. 

"In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety." -Abraham Maslow 

The cool thing about a comfort zone is that it is always moving. There's a good chance that you are doing something now with your body that was once uncomfortable, scary or unfamiliar. But now you feel strong and confident with your at-one-time anxiety-provoking skill.

To grow, develop and learn as an athlete, it's important to always put yourself into a place where you are slightly uncomfortable. To reach your goals, it's important to always find new ways to challenge yourself to a new slightly new level of discomfort. Success is not limited to the athlete who is genetically gifted but instead, the athlete who is on a constant pursuit to push outside of the comfort zone. 

From Friday until Sunday late morning, we spent our time with Trimarni athlete Adam Granoff (who also happens to host the Intelligent Racer Podcast - highly recommend listening to this great podcast) for his private training camp here in Greenville, SC.

Adam is currently training for IM 70.3 Syracuse and Ironman Lake Placid after completing Ironman 70.3 St. George. Adam is on a constant pursuit of self-improvement and that is why he wanted to stretch his comfort zone with us for over 10 hours of training in 2.5 days.

Adam worked hard for every workout and he learned a lot. We made sure to address his strengths to build his confidence and to help him work through bad habits as he continued to improve his swim-bike-run skills. It was a productive, educational and challenging 2.5 days of training but we could not be more pleased with what we were able to accomplish in such a short amount of time.

2.5 hour skill focused ride working on managing variable terrain
20- minute hilly brick run

1 hour skill focused swim w/ race simulation efforts and sighting

4.5 hour ride, including a climb up (and down) Caesar's Head mountain
15 min brick run on the Swamp Rabbit Trail

RETUL bike fit
Pizza dinner in downtown Greenville

(So great to be joined with Veronica of Veronica's Health Crunch for dinner)

1:10 hr easy spin on the swamp rabbit trail
~90 minute long run, finishing with hill sprints