Patience Young Grasshopper

Over the last few months, I have been working hard on my business. I have been doing a ton of reading, such as “E-Myth” and “Scaling Up,” along with talking with 53219408successful Entrepreneurs.

Something that I read in “Scaling Up” was about Apple. Apple started in 1976. In 2001, their 25th Anniversary, they only had 9,600 employees, when they launched the iPod. We know what happens from there. BOOM, Apple became a phenomenon. Steve Jobs stated, “I’m always amazed how overnight successes take a helluva long time.”

As I reflect back to my Ironman training, my business, Triathlon Coaching and The Strongest Mile, my Strength Program for Endurance Athletes, along with building my “tribe,” I would LOVE to have everything NOW…wouldn’t life be easier than? I would already have my spot to Ironman Kona. I would already have a successful coaching company with coaches working with me. I would already have an office space for my coaching company. I would have coaches teaching all over town, The Strongest Mile.

During this thought process, I remember my dearest friend tell me, “Patience, Young Grasshopper.”  I laughed. I thought the concept was cute and I realized that not only does this relate to myself in my business and my own training. It relates to athletes that I coach or have coached.

I tell my athletes:

  • If you train slowly…you go slow.
  • If you train fast…you go fast.

Let me explain: If you go LSD, long slow distance, ALL the time…then yes, I do believe that you will go slow. IF you start to add interval pace training or threshold pace training in your routine on your swim, bike, run and during The Strongest Mile classes, then I believe that this will improve you becoming “faster”.

So, what I am about to say may be a little confusing or contradicting to my above comments so bare with me….

Endurance athletes tend to train in a higher heart rate or training pace than they should…on their EASIER swims, bikes or runs.

HUH??? You ask…let me explain!

About two years ago, I chatted with a friend of mine, who is also a USA Triathlon Level I Coach, and a professor, Duson Morris. We chatted about endurance athletes and their training. What we have seen over the years, as coaches, is that endurance athletes will go “KILL IT” every workout that they do, especially their “easier” workouts.

For example, I will give an athlete an easy 30 minute run, and you were to look at their heart rate monitor or their average pace for that run, you would probably see that those athletes were WAY above their Level 4 heart rate zone, which is technically, 80-90% of their VO2 max testing…these athletes are in an anaerobic or hardcore training state.

What is anaerobic threshold? In a nut shell, anaerobic threshold will start producing lactic acid, which the muscles will not be able to handle for a long period of time and it will lead to exhaustion. (http://www.anaerobicthreshold.org/index.php?chapter=chapter1sub1).

Is that an easy run?  No. What is an easy run? An easy run or workout will consist of an athlete going at a Zone 1 or Zone 2 pace, which would be an easy effort and aerobic development…building the muscles, the heart, the lungs, the blood flow and the muscles.

As a coach, I do realize that there are a lot of factors when it comes to heart rate…lack of sleep, stress, altitude, humidity, etc. The reason being, I look at their pace and I use Jack Daniels VDot training for my athletes versus heart rate training zones. http://runsmartproject.com/calculator/.

I want my athletes to be SMART on their training versus going out to “KILL IT” at every workout!

“Coach Jen, I am still confused,” you may say.

Let me give you some bullet points and hopefully this will help you:

  • If you train slow, EVERY DAY, without any HIT training, you will go slow.
  • If you train fast, EVERY DAY, without any recovery workouts, you will go slow, along with getting injured and the possibility of being over trained. (Hint: Recovery days and weeks are CRUCIAL!)
  • If you train slow, when you are suppose to train slow, you will get faster.
  • If your fast training has a purpose, you will get faster!

Since I am a data person and like to back up my blogs…here are some more information about “Slowing down to Speed Up.”

http://www.runnersworld.com/workouts/slow-down-speed

http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2012/05/17/train-slow-run-fast

http://runnersconnect.net/running-interviews/why-running-slower-on-your-easy-days-helps-you-run-faster-and-keeps-you-injury-free/

So, to my athletes, who think going faster and harder will make them faster…this is where I say…

“Patience, Young Grasshopper”