IS 2020 THE YEAR FOR LONG COURSE???
So many of you are contemplating your 2020 goals and if long course is best for you.
As a coach, IDEALLY I will sit down with a client and play ‘Devil’s Advocate’. Here are a few points I like to discuss through:
The fortunate and unfortunate part of this sport is that we are encouraged and believe that we can accomplish whatever we want! BUT when we look at the human body AND mind- there is a natural progression and resilience developed with the sport specific discipline and purpose. Working your way from short course to long course will challenge your body. It will also maintain a healthy balance and excitement without the risk of burnout. I encourage athletes to tackle MANY short course races, then move into 2-4 middle distance events, and after 3-4years in the sport, take on long course. Remember, experience being the goal, you are able to do far more short course races/ year, keep learning through different race day challenges so that when you hit that starting line at your BIG day, you are ready to take on anything that is thrown at you!
· WANT TO GET FASTER
Bottom line- you want to get faster, you want to PR, you want to qualify: you WILL NOT do so, doing long course. Ultimately plugging away at long miles will only leave you with more endurance, NOT speed.
Racing at your next level will require, not longer, but rather those harder threshold sets and focus. SPEED= burn, baby, burn!
· PREVIOUS INJURY/ LACK OF MOTIVATION
IF you have struggled with injury OR dealt with lack of motivation over the last 12months… long course will not fix this. Risking further injury and/or trying to ‘will’ your way through the training is one of the scariest processes BOTH coach and client can put themselves through. Why risk both the physical and mental breakdowns that will not only inhibit your race day but also interfere with outside relationships and responsibilities….
Long course should stimulate you, not take away from you and your daily life!
· BUSINESS / OBLIGATIONS
Let’s say you have some big professional goals, you just landed a seat on the board, or you’re starting a new position…. Give this/ these opportunities your focus and time.
Hit many short workouts that challenge you without draining you, stay consistent through the ups and downs at work, gain lean muscle mass, and nail some weekend PR’s at local races.
Both your professional life and athletic aspirations will thank you!
· FAMILY / FRIENDS
And the most obvious when deciding if long course is your best option: are you maintaining/growing personal relationships. If you are getting married, having a child the day of the race, walking your kiddo down the aisle the month following a race, simply want to be connected with others … skip long course. Life and the people in it, ‘TAKE WORK’. At the end of the day: goals should not steal you away.
HERE IS THE CAVEAT TO ALL THIS- you must establish your personal priorities and goals. No one can nor should do this for you. You must establish what matters to you beyond the glamour and peer pressure.
Again, with many years of experience as both athlete and coach, I am able to play ‘Devil’s Advocate’ and hopefully encourage you to think through short or long course for 2020.
If you would like to talk further through your options/ concerns, please email: Amari@playtri.com