Sunday, October 26, 2014

sometimes you just have to give it all you got.

About 17 weeks ago I started training for my 100 mile Florida Keys Adventure... now only 3 weeks away. To say I am excited is an understatement :) I've learned a lot about myself in these last few months and wanted to share some advice for those embarking on a 5 month training plan.

1. Start off slow. You have a ways to go, young grasshopper. No need to kill yourself at the beginning. Remember, you have to build your base first. 

2.  Cross train, weight lift, and have at least two pairs of shoes to switch out for activities. (This is a little different for me since I wear tennis shoes 24/7, but I definitely recommend having two sets).

3. Print out your training schedule and highlight off your daily goals. This will be important as you look back over the months to see how far you have come.

4. Prepare for setbacks. They will come... Whether this is illness, shin splints, hip pain, work issues etc; be prepared mentally and physically to deal with these things. Part of endurance training is knowing when to slow down and let your body heal.

5. Never go kayaking on a river alone. You might flip over, lose your belongings, and still have 4 hours to go... Take it from me, swimming away from water mocassins and climbing brush with your kayak is not enjoyable by yourself. Also, always wear your life jacket... you never know when you might actually need it.

6. Learn to stretch... and I'm not talking about bending over to try to touch your toes. The body is more connected than we non-medical people may know (though sometimes I feel like a medical professional with all my past injury experience!). When I started developing hip pain and knee swelling I tried all the stretches I could think of... when my attempts failed, I found a sports massage therapist... and it has made all the difference.

7. Moleskin is your best friend. And a foam roller and lacrosse ball.

8. Cycle with a group. It really helps to train with a peloton to keep pace. (+ definitely get yourself real bike shorts!) You don't necessarily need clip in pedals / shoes, but I sure love mine. Also, having a cadence monitor is super helpful.

9. Sometimes it will be hard to get out there and train... but once you do, you'll be happy you did.

10. Keep your eyes on the goal (the race!) and reward yourself along the way. New socks, running shorts, t-shirt, dark chocolate... :)

11. What you put into your body, you'll get out. Fuel your body for success. H2o is your friend.

12. People will not understand your desire to train this much... and that's okay. It's not their race, it's yours.

13. Most importantly, never give up! There will be hard days for sure, but you've made it too far to throw in the towel now.

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