Focus. As I continue to move further into a life filled with projects, opportunities, job responsibilities, and family commitments, I’m beginning to understand that training effectively has less to do with the actual time I have available to train and much more to do with the level of focus I have while training. I am so tremendously thankful for my position at Western State Colorado University (WSCU) and the incredible people that I get to work with there. I’m also humbled by the almost steady flow of new opportunities that have bubbled-up over the past three months. And family? What can I say? Everyday I’m blown away by my wife and daughter, and I yearn to spend more time with them both. With all these positives in my life, sometimes I need to pinch myself – just to make sure it’s not all a dream. When it comes to training though, the reality is that beyond simply allocating the proper amount of time for training, I need to become better at harnessing my mental energy during training. Over these past two weeks it has become increasingly evident that when I am focused mentally – my workouts go much smoother. The flip-side? When constant mental chatter, problem-solving, worrying, and planning have cluttered my brain – I’ve only managed to shuffle through these runs and hope for the best. I’m trying to be more ‘in control’ of my brain, while being more focused and intentional with my thoughts. It hasn’t been easy, but by forgoing an iPod for one full month now, I’ve at least become aware of my lack of mental focus. Here’s a brief summary of the past two weeks:
Summary – Week of 3/25/13 – 3/31/13 –
As I launched into this week, the overriding mantra in my brain was: ‘Expect More. Do More.’ Well – I made it 2 full days before the wheels came off. If you include the last three days of the previous week then I had 5 straight days of ‘being a hero.’ I neglected sleep, accomplished a ton, checked dozens of things off my to-do list, and felt very fulfilled. The problem? Starting Wednesday morning I just couldn’t wake up and this feeling of fatigue plagued me throughout the remainder of the week. I struggled to run well, but I did manage to maintain focus during a busy week at work. By Saturday morning I was feeling like ‘damaged-goods.’ Tired, unmotivated, and in need of more sleep. I did come back strong on Sunday with a good stretching session and solid run. Week totals – 10 hours training. 8 hours running. 58 miles running. Strong early week. Need more sleep.
Summary – Week of 4/1/13 – 4/7/13 –
Solid week of training. My mind came alive this week and begin planning summer-time running adventures. I also realized that my first race is a mere 5 weeks away! Better get after it. Parr and I were able to get together for several runs, and this helped immeasurably. The crux to the week though? More sleep. Instead of 5/6 hours per night, I upped it to 7/8 hours per night – and felt an incredible difference. Also, I stepped on the track for my first set of mile-repeats since the end of December. It was ugly, but I made it work. Week totals – 18 hours training. 16 hours running. 111 miles running. Back into the Triple Digits. Higher Volume.
This last week has catapulted me back into the groove of higher volume training. Now I’m looking forward to furthering my fitness, gaining strength, and staying healthy throughout the entire summer. As a parting shot – take a look at this fantastic video – Kilian Jornet moving fast in the mountains. Pretty incredible. Thanks for reading. Live well. Train well. Focus well. DC