My training is officially over. I am now in the taper week which at this stage seems kind of a joke seeing as how the past week has been spent trying to shake an ear infection and not punching out K's as it should have been. I thought now would be a good time to drop some of the hard fought wisdom I have accumulated along the way. Hopefully you can read this and get something out of it and maybe take on a challenge yourself or even just get a laugh out of my experiences.
Lesson One: Get a training plan and stick to it.
There is so much information out there regarding the best ways to train and ways to maximise your time and efforts that there is NO excuse for not having a plan. I haven't spoken about my training plan much as I find it pretty boring to write about so I can't imagine you as a reader would get heaps out of it either. The trick is to plan your training around your life rather than your life around your training. It will ease the stress of balancing family commitments, work commitments and social life and allow you to ENJOY your training.
Lesson Two: Sort your logistics early.
This the one area I have felt totally happy with in my preparation for the Terra. The fact is that if you get this right you alleviate a whole level of fuss further down the road. Even though my plans have changed several times along the way I have had a clear idea of where I needed to be along the way. I did the research on weather, facilities and transport options early and as options became available I could adjust to them and make the most of them. This same advice goes for any race or event. If you plan well and early when things go pear shaped, and they will go pear shaped at some stage, you can adjust and cope with it with a minimum of fuss. Nothing in life ever goes perfectly to plan so why not have a couple of aces up your sleeve for when the chips are down.
Lesson Three: Set realistic goals.
I have always believed I can finish the Terra. While this may seem like a lofty goal that was kind of the whole point. You need to set yourself some challenges in order to feel that it is no walk in the park, and that it is worth doing. Just don't set the bar so high that you can't see it any more! Apply this theory to your training as well. Call it built in redundancy if you like. You WILL miss some sessions, you WILL have bad days, there WILL be speedbumps along the way. Life is like that! Challenge yourself but just don't set yourself up for failure from the outset.
My best example of this? I wanted to lose a few kilos and seriously cut back on the amount of alcohol I was drinking. This was all focused towards my health both physically and mentally. I want to get off my medication. I have succeeded in 2 of the 3 goals in losing weight, cutting back the alcohol consumption and the third goal is on course for after the race. Whats this got to do with racing? Everything. What is competing if not the setting of goals with the aim of reaching them to make us feel proud of ourselves and our efforts. Whether its to win or to just have fun, set that goal, go for it and feel proud of your efforts in doing so.
I think I have preached at you enough today. It is Sunday after all. I have just one parting thought. Courage is knowing that you will be testing your limits and that you may fail and being willing to do both in making an attempt for your goal.