The summer is almost over and CX Season is about to start! I have been training in a manner befitting someone who has to visit weather.com every five minutes to make future decisions. Regardless, things have gone smoothly. No injuries, no major mechanical issues. I was banging out the reps, running up my cardio and biking over everything that can even vaguely be considered an incline. For example: Hill repeats on the Venice bicycle bridge. It takes 20 laps of that 50 footer to make 1,000 feet of climb at 5%. That's about as big as it gets around here but results should follow.
I have always had trouble sticking with a training plan for very long. However, I have found the cure to that problem - Crossfit. I've been dabbling with CF for a while but this summer I decided to look more deeply into this phenomenon. I read a couple books (Inside the Box & Learning to Breathe Fire). I watched dozen of videos and got my wife Terri involved. We do solid warm-ups followed by WOD's (Workout of the Day) at home usually a few days a week. We scale down the weights and times but always use high intensity. The early results are encouraging and since it is a variable system I never get bored with it. Moreover, Terri enjoys the challenges.
On a related note, during July I was happy to take part in a CX gathering at Payne Park in Sarasota. There were about two dozen people who showed up to learn the ropes or just practice their skills. The meet up was run by Kate Adams of Liv Giant and taught by Florida Pro Josh Thornton. We chatted about the upcoming races and ran through a series of drills, most of which were a lot of fun. If this gathering was any indication, we should have a very active season.
Back to training. After a particularly smoldering morning slaving my way through a top speed 40 min grass circuit, I managed to exceed my previous distance. That means I scored a new PR! Yeah! Right? So why didn't I feel elated by this victory? Because I managed 3.90 laps over the previous 3.75. That is about a quarter of a mile further. This is a win! Right? So why was I feeling flushed by the effort? Why wasn't I excited?
This was what you call a hard gain. It is proof of improvement but in a small amount. Sometimes we'll look at a minor achievement and scoff because, well, it's minor. It is hard to brag about these tiny perks and easy to discount them. Still, it's a win. You have to let yourself enjoy these moments. They are steps towards the eventual goal. Small, steady gains are often better than big leaps because they represent gradual improvement, the building of a foundation that can be relied on for future success.
If I have learned anything this summer it is that since you are already hacking away at your soul with hot laps and voluminous reps, you might as well give yourself credit for that toil. Our trick was to buy a small wading pool and set it up in the shade to act as an ice bath for after workouts. This has been a godsend. While we all want to leave the competition in the dust this fall we can't do it if we are stressing out over marginal improvements so find a way to cool off. The great thing about amateur competition is you have nothing to lose and everything to gain just by showing up.
See you at the races!
Be sure to visit my sponsors.