Get Comfortable being Uncomfortable: A Key to Getting Faster #tipsytuesdaytri

The thing about this sport that I love, is how every person has their own reason for toeing that start line. Whether it be to finish, raising awareness or money for a charity, beating a previous time, or winning. Some people race just to race, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You’re comfortable with where you’re at in racing and training and its fun…. Maybe even a social kind of thing. This is great, and one day I will turn off my competitiveness and join you! However, if you’ve got a competitive side and you’re looking to get faster or making improvements, read on.

My coach told me this when we had our first meeting and it has stuck ever since. In fact, I repeat it to myself on a very regular basis. “If you want to get faster, you have to be comfortable being uncomfortable.” This doesn’t mean overdoing it and hurting yourself, or training through an injury. This means that those key workouts involving high intensity intervals or segments are meant to be pushed outside where you are comfortable. For example, today I was doing one minute intervals on the bike today... 20x 1min @115-120% of FTP on one minute easy. This is a very effective workout for gaining fitness, but it hurts and I feel like I’m gonna die while I’m doing them. Sometimes I don’t even know if my legs will turn into the next interval. Same with tempo and interval runs. I push myself way out of comfort, but I know it will pay off. These are things I was missing in my training before I started working with Jonny. I could “push” myself, but I wouldn’t say I pushed hard enough. The improvements I have made in the last 3 years have been incredible, and much of it has to do with training HARD when I need to.

This, however, brings me to another point that is JUST as important as the first. You need to hit your hard workouts hard, but in order to do this, you need to take your easy sessions EASY. Your body needs the active recovery to get ready for the next hard session. This was another thing I used to be bad at, and it was due to lack of time. I had the “quality vs quantity” approach and hit every session as hard as I could. I was only training about 16hrs a week max, and it worked for me. I still had great results, but not as good as they are now!

So what are the key takeaways here?

1. Be comfortable being uncomfortable.

2. Take the easy days EASY so you can hit the hard ones HARD.

3. Know when to listen to your body. Don’t push so hard that you injure yourself.

4. Understand that it’s OK to have days that you don’t feel great….. trust me, we all have them!:)

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