This post came from a conversation earlier this week with my good friend Laura. Since Laura just might be the only person that reads my Monday posts, I apologize! Sorry if you don’t get any new information this week.
I want to talk this week about Base Training and what I feel the purpose of it is. So many athletes use the off season to catch up on things that got left behind during the regular season, family, work, relationships. Most the time people are so burned out that they just need some “time off”. I hear about a lot of people that stop training altogether, or train sporadically. Then, as this time of year comes around, February, people start to wake up again, planning race schedules, looking for coaching or teams to join. They get all hyped up, and that hype carries them through most of the season, until training gets especially difficult, or boaring. Then by the end of the season, everyone is all burned out again and the cycle starts over.
Hard things take time to do. Impossible things take a little longer.
– Percy Cerutty
So base training…it’s what the “especially dedicated” do, right? It’s for the people who don’t have enough obligations and can “afford” to spend all off season training, right? Sometimes, I think this is the view people have of me. This really is my first of season of base training, but I can already tell people think I have a bit too much time on my hands. Ha, that’s okay, I forgive you.
I have learned a lot this off season, but here is the big “Ahhhh-Hah”.
The base season is not just a time to get in lots of long boaring training miles, it’s the time we set aside in our lives to establish our BASE PERSON. What diet, motivation, emotional state, attitude, level of energy, and lastly training can we handle each and every day that we wake up? It’s about establishing a lifestyle that is not only maintainable, but sustainable. You see the BASE part of base training has so much more to do with establishing the baseline that you want your life to follow. What level of training makes you a happy well balanced person? That’s the level of base training you should complete. Now we all know that being a healthy person is one of the fundamental reasons we all train, compete, own a bike or a gym membership. And, we all know in our heart of hearts that we need to move our bodies in physical exercise every day. Therefore, this yo-yo-ing during our years really isn’t good for us. What’s good for us is consistency, honesty with ourselves, and the ability to be patient.
This is the time in our year where we practice the motto “Just keep on keeping on”. By the end of base training you should feel like an extremely balanced peaceful person who is ready emotionally, and physically to start the training that will lead to your peak performance throughout the year.
This week it’s time to do some reflection on what kind of base training, or OFF season you have had. Have you scaled back and maintained a level that is sustainable, have you been training your fanny off, or have you not trained at all. What do you think about your level of training given what I talked about above? Are you going into this season with a balanced head on your shoulders? If not, what got in the way, why? Write a little note to yourself for the end of the season and tell yourself how important it is to scale back and regain balance in all facets of your life once your season ends.
“Every morning in Africa a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must move faster than the lion or it will not survive. Every morning a lion wakes up and it knows it must move faster than the slowest gazelle or it will starve. It doesn’t matter if you are the lion or the gazelle, when the sun comes up, you better be moving.”
– Maurice Greene