Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Excuses or reasons?

One of the delinma of self coaching is that I don't know what is hard and what is easy. Is swimming everyday is too tiring? How about every other day?

Or workout. How much of a load can I handle? Can I run after a workout?

There is only so many days a week and so many hours. It is a bit frustrating to aim high to push oneself and at the same time aim low to prevent burn out.

What I have notice in a few occurences is my mind will use the reason "don't train too hard to avoid burn out" as an excuse. I don't know if you have sense it. But I know I do.

For me, I do not enjoy a light workout (when it is not suppose to be light). There is no joy in giving 75% when you can give 110%. There is no satisfaction in climbing a ant hill when you know you can climb a mountain.

Being self coach, there is an easy tendency to give 75% and call it a day. I have a rough day. Things are not going well. I am not getting enough sleep. All these reasons can be reasons for taking reducing training. At the same time, these reasons can also be use as excuses.

The key is to distinguish which is which. No one can help us to do that. Only ourselves. As the Greek say "Know Thyself".

20 comments:

The Spandex-King said...

Excuses are like assholes. Everybody has one.

Flatman said...

Good one, King! What if you have more than one excuse...does that mean...?

William said...

Hmmm, yeah Cliff. I never forget that we all tend to lie to ourselves most of all. We always exagerate ourseves.

Part of this is having a plan, and realizing there is a 100% effort and nothing more. Sometimes that 100% effort is running a LSD at Zone 2 and the effort is reeling in the speed, sometimes it's giving all you got on the last bicep curl.

Be clear whats expected during each workout and follow through with that and be satisfied. Training should be fun too.

jessie_tri_mn said...

I agree with William. I give 100% of myself to achieve the desired goal of the workout, not the potential I could give on that given day.

Discipline takes precedence.

There's a give and take, though, that is for sure.

Joyce said...

if excuses are like assholes, how come i only have one?

Robin said...

"Know thyself". Although, in general, I feel I know myself pretty well --with triathlon and my abilities this is a constant quest.

Susan said...

I think you are doing a good job self-coaching!

steelrider2 said...

William has the plan. It is hard to feel like you're giving 100% on the slow/recovery days. It only takes an injury to realize how to give 100% on those easy days. As a triathlete of 15 years, I am still fasinated by triathlon. I take breaks occasionally (a month or so)and I always have a plan. I absolutely love to train. Racing is the icing on the cake.

Great site you have here....

steelrider2.blogspot.com

Iron Benny said...

I agree with the Greeks. In due time, you will get to know yourelf and your body. You really need to learn to listen to your body. When you have a good feel for yourself, then you can start to worry about intensity. My coach always says you're better off undertraining than overtraining. That is the premise behind my program. I have a really good feel for my body and it really helps. Just start paying really close attention. Good luck
Benny

qcmier said...

Tenet Nosce - love that phrase.

I have found that if I train with a group, especially with athletes who are better than I, I will give that 110%. I do need those 75% days to recover though, physically and mentally.

Being self-coached taught me a lot, especially about myself, but too many injuries led me to seek out a coach. In addition, I believe I was only going to get so far on my own and having the right coach will get you to reach for another level.

Rachel said...

It's so hard to know when to take it easy. I also have an "all or nothing" attitude. It takes a lot of knowing yourself and experimentation, and then discovering what works best for you throughout the whole process. Which is part of the fun. Sometimes, I force myself to do a workout. But if I don't feel good after my warm-up, and I'm not enjoying it and feeling good after 10 minutes, I take a light day. Then, I take off guilt-free knowing my body was telling me to lay off. I know those days are Yoga days.

Kewl Nitrox said...

I'm with iron benny - I am a great fan of listening to my body. God has made us wonderfully and given us "self healing" and "self regulating" bodies, and we should not ignore it when our body says "rest".

It's hard to draw the line between too much and too little, can't really help there. But what I can do is share with you sometime I read that will hopefully encourage you in your self-coaching. Hawaii Ironman Champion 2005 Faris Al-Sultan self-coaches. This is what he says "I have no real trainer and I am my own coach but there is always somebody with experience that I can ask, but I don't have anybody that tells me I have to ride five hours today. I am my own coach and I decide what to do and when to do it. With special things I ask people I know, but in the end I decide what to do."

That's the HAWAII IRONMAN CHAMPION. Keep at it!

kikapu said...

I also have a tendency to go all-out in my workouts - taking it easy feels like cheating! I'm better with using my HRM now and sticking to my intended HR zones, and it has really helped with recovery and being fresh for my next workout.

The one exception is when teaching spinning class, I always end up working way too hard there - but I figure talking a lot has something to do with it. Oh well, as long as I stay below 185, I do OK.

Chris said...

Man. This is like the second or third post that mimics my post of this morning. I usually read first and then post, but I posted before reading this morning. We should have made a collaborative effort on the topic. :)

Comm's said...

I think self coaching can be a good thing. I have done it for years. But even elite athletes have a coach to work with them on specifics or a mentor to advise them. I suggest if you don't get a coach you at least find a training partner with similiar goals. Maybe not as good as a coach or mentor but a good sounding board.

psbowe said...

I think it's important to just listen to your body..not get too burned out from pushing yourself too much all the time and expecting too much.

Rae said...

Great post! It sounds like as your own coach you've really got a handle on how to motivate yourself. I think I'm probably harder on myself than any coach could ever be as well!

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