Train so you can train tomorrow

I listened to a very interesting series of podcasts over the weekend. I recommend Endurance Planet to anyone who “gets” endurance sports – if you’re reading this then that means you! You can get their podcasts via iTunes or at They have some great tips and expert opinions and some very well done interviews with great endurance athletes, most recently Dave Scott of Ironman fame; it was from him that I picked up the tip below.

There were a couple of things that really stuck with me, but the one I though worth repeating – mainly because it is so applicable to me right now – is “train so you can train tomorrow”. So often I put it all out there on a training run or an interval session, for various reasons, only to find my performance impacted the next day or week. Sometimes it’s because I want to test myself against my previous times or my training partners, and others because it just feels so good to really burn! For me, this kind of approach to training is simply not sustainable.

It’s no secret that “consistency is key”; we all know that two hard training weeks followed by one of forced rest while you recover from a niggle or more serious injury is not nearly as beneficial as 3 weeks of consistent, albeit maybe lower mileage or intensity, weeks. All of us know some freak who is able to run 8 marathons in 10 weeks while training for Comrades, and we all fall into the trap of trying to train at that level when the thinking, rational part of the brain knows the risk is not worth the reward. I’ve always fallen into that category – believing that I would be able to run through the strain and that I was the statistical anomaly in being able to compete and train without a break.

The reason for my not wanting to accept what I knew was that I didn’t have a concrete and positive thought to place alongside a session where I didn’t go all out. “Train so you can train tomorrow” is that positive thought – when I stepped off the treadmill after only 6 kays this morning, I did it so that I could run hard tomorrow morning and I felt good, not guilty, about it. And tomorrow morning when I only beat Iano by 3 seconds and not the normal 10, it’s because I know that will enable me to train tomorrow (okay, that last part was completely fictional and any reference to the Iano that we know is unintended and purely coincidental).

So my mantra this year is going to be about training so I can train again tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow after that!


One Response

  1. Good advice Doug. As always, you are spot on – consistency is the key.

    And for me that’s exactly my problem – and why Doug’s 10 seconds is actually probably closer to 15 🙂

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