Adventure Race Training: Week 8

Happy Runners

Training, training and more training. The consistent effort and the weeks of preparation seem to be paying off. I am watching our team get stronger and stronger. Well…most of them. It is slowly becoming apparent which members might not make it to the starting line. They were probably caught up in the excitement of signing up, but, when push came to shove, and the talk became more about barbed wire and less about what colors jerseys we are going to wear, they became less emotionally connected to the process. I don’t blame them. If you don’t really want to do something like this, you should not be doing it.  Of course, I think staying active is absolutely necessary for an improved quality of life. But activity simply for activity’s sake is the quick path to hell. You have to engage in something that lights you up. It doesn’t have to light you like a 200-watt bulb—it can be 40 watts and that’s fine. But if you don’t find something that tickles you in even the slightest way, then it is tough to follow through. Even more important, that tickle itself is part of what improves life’s quality.

I think those of us on the team who have continued to train and train hard are tickled. Perhaps it’s the fear of the unknown or the desire to push ourselves a little harder than we might otherwise. Perhaps it’s the unexpected aesthetic benefits of mixing up the training and/or pushing a little harder. Or maybe it’s just the unexpected fun of training as a team toward a common goal that fires up each of us a little bit more than we were before. Amusingly, during yesterday’s training, talk turned to what comes next: what will we do when the race is over in a few weeks? Personally, I think that’s jumping the gun a little bit. Let’s get this one down and then we can look to the next.

As we come down to the wire, I try to keep everyone on point, stressing that to be truly strong, we have to focus on our four pillars: strength, flexibility, endurance and nutrition. As any one pillar grows, it is easy to bring our focus even further in that direction. As you become stronger, you want to challenge your strength more and more. As you build your endurance, you want to push the endurance envelope. But it is vital to keep the balance between all four pillars. You can’t kick ass at one workout, roll home and devour a pint of ice cream. That’s not balance. And balance is the key to both health and happiness.  Become stronger, more flexible, increase your endurance and watch what you consume. Not sure how to proceed down any of those paths? Then seek advice from those in the know. Not your cool neighbor who reads lots of blogs. Seek out information from professionals. They have dedicated their live to figuring out the answers and sharing the information.

Most important: do what lights you up. The Spartan training rocks and I know the race will be awesome. Our team is great and we will laugh ourselves across the finish line. I couldn’t ask for a better fitness experience.