Took the Day off Running + Steve Magness Knowledge: Blog #3
Hey everyone, happy Monday! Hope you all are doing well and had a great weekend. I'll do my best to keep this blog going during the week, but with a full time job, full time running, and a full time wife there will almost certainly be days where I don't post an update. Just like in running, sometimes you just need a day off! Speaking of...
I took the day of running today! As Hannah will tell you, my taking a day off on purpose is not that common of an occurrence. I'm a bit of a mileage addict, but there were several reasons I took today off.
I've had a bit of a cold that keeps coming and going. I've felt it go away for a day or two, but then I wake up the next morning with a stuffy nose. Not too stuffy though, and I can still smell my morning coffee so I definitely don't think it is COVID! Especially because I've barely seen anyone in the last several weeks and months... Regardless, a day off should help me get over the hump on these sniffles.
I ran a lot this weekend! 21.5 miles on Saturday and 15 or so on Sunday has me feeling worn out. I definitely am feeling the altitude fatigue, which not only makes you run slower but also recover slower. A lot of miles requires a lot of rest.
No big races on the schedule = no need to risk anything in training. Sometimes for a big build up before an important race, I might push my mileage up. Higher mileage (within reason) can lead to better performances, but it is also a riskier way to train. Right now the most important thing for me in training is consistency, not nailing workouts or hitting high mileage, so I'm going to try to incorporate more days off into my training. It's still my goal to run 5000 miles this year (I crossed 3500 yesterday!), or about 100 per week. Switching to 6 days a week of running will definitely be different and challenging in a new way, but I can comfortably run 120 a week now so removing a day of training and still hitting 100 shouldn't be too tough. Excited to getting running again tomorrow though!
There are a lot of coaches and sports physiologists that I look to for training advice, and one of the best is definitely Steve Magness. Steve is a coach at the University of Houston, and he is very active online with several books with the topic of performance enhancement through smarter training. He's been dropping a lot of good info the last few days, so I'll list it here:
On Twitter: "Observation: the people who sustain success over the long-haul are rarely shooting for success. They are focused on the path. Their goal is mastery, which knows no end." https://twitter.com/stevemagness/status/1305131365101436929?s=20
On his website on surrounding yourself with people who lift you up: "It turns out that motivation can function almost like a disease. It is contagious and can work its way through your peer group in the same way that the flu potentially can. To coaches, teachers, or anyone who deals with motivating groups of students this shouldn’t sound too surprising. In sports, we refer to this as “team culture...
An interesting study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research used cadets entering the Air Force Academy as a way to tackle the question of whether exercise habits/performance was contagious. The Air Force Academy allows for a unique way to study the issue as cadets do a standard fitness test before entering the Academy and then at regular intervals throughout. Additionally, they are assigned into peer groups for their duration of their stay at the Academy. What we are left with is a nice easy way to study how fitness changes throughout their 4 year commitment and whether the fitness of those around them affected the entire squadron.
The researchers therefore tracked almost 3,500 freshman for 4 years to see how peers who were the least fit coming out of high school impacted their entire squadrons fitness...
What they found was very surprising:
They initially showed that the level of fitness during HS of your peers had a very large effect on your own fitness. In fact, they found that your peers HS fitness had a bigger impact on your own fitness than your own initial fitness coming into the Academy! ...
Knowing this, it all boils down to two take away messages:
1. Every single person in the group counts.
2. Choose your peer group and inner circle wisely!”
On his website, again, on why you shouldn't try to prove fitness in practice: "Contrary to the common notion, the job of a coach is not to get athletes fit, it is to get them to express their fitness. Fitness is the easy part. Throw a variety of hard work at someone and fitness will soon follow. But having the ability to utilize and express that fitness on the right day takes skill...
Whenever I encounter this issue, I always look to the physical first. Knock off the easy problems first (i.e. nutrition deficiencies, overtraining, etc.) before you dive into the complex. Far too many coaches (and athletes) blame the athlete (He/She is “mental”) because it’s the easy way out. The reality is the physical and mental are so intertwined that it’s impossible to distinguish and separate them...
The need to prove oneself comes from insecurity. It’s a lack of trust in the plan and the process. Stop trying to prove fitness, and start trying to do what is best to get you to the starting line fit, healthy, and ready to go."
Thank you for reading today's blog! If it's provided you with anything useful at all, it would mean a lot to me if you would consider supporting me financially through Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/caroluskhan
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Lastly, if you or someone you know is looking to up your training and are looking for a coach to help, look no further! Shoot me a message, and I'll get you set up with a personalized training plan in as little as a day. Thanks and keep grinding! 💪