Friday, April 9, 2010

My Mini-Breakthrough

I have found the word I was looking for in my last post! Remember how I was saying I had decided to skip training and catch some much needed shut eye, and then I just could NOT go back to sleep? I was exhausted, I wanted to sleep, but I just could not get this little... no no... loud... very loud voice out of my head saying I was SO going to regret this. Something was different. I have skipped MANY a planned work out in my day and never thought twice about it. Why, suddenly, was I so overwhelmed with this feeling of guilt, or disappointment, or... (fill in the blank)?

Let me back step here for a second. Last week I decided to check out literature on triathlons. I figured it couldn't hurt to learn more, and if I could fill in any of the blanks that Y-Tri was leaving, I'd just be that much more prepared. Turns out, there were not so many options. So I took my small stack to the coffee shop in the book store and started leafing through. I have to say I was really disappointed. 99% of these "books" were just work-out/training plans. Calendars and charts of what to do, but absolutely no explanation as to why or differentiations for different people. No one talked about strategy, transitions, race day... anything of substance. Just how many miles to run and push ups to do. Well, I've already got a work out plan.

Then I came across the book I am reading now "Triathlons for Women" by Sally Edwards. I have to say, when I read the title I thought it was going to read more like a Cosmo magazine than a helpful guide. Sorry, but so many "women" focused fitness books sound like they were written by a character in Clueless! Anyway, it turned out to be JUST what I wanted. So far, it has talked motivation and reason for doing a tri, history of tri's and women in them, the science behind how they developed their workout plans so you can either adjust them or create your own... it has it all! So expect more blogs inspired by my further reading.

So back to what I was saying earlier. In my reading I came across this wonderful word that fully described the phenomenon that happened yesterday morning: "patterning". Here's what Sally said:

"Plain, old-fashioned, nothing-fancy discipline is a big part of a winning plan that gets you to go faster. By planning the workouts and working out according to plan, you are practicing what sports psychologists call "patterning." Patterning is repeating an action until it is so ingrained that your brain doesn't have to make a decision: Your brain (and your heart) just follows a natural course, and the action becomes routine."

That's it. My body, my brain, my heart... myself has become so accustomed to training, to the process, that not doing it was more wrong then getting sleep. So that was my mini-breakthrough of the week. Just wanted to share.

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