Tis The Season to Be ... Prepared

By Voler Staff | 12/20/10

We've teamed up with Marilyn Trout, certified USA Cycling Elite Coach to answer Voler E-Mail List members' training questions. You can view her coach profile at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/mountainpedalscoaching80903 Send your cycling inquiries to Marilyn, and for a limited time, if yours is selected to be answered in our Training Tips column, Voler will send you a $20 gift certificate that can be used towards any purchase from the Voler Store. To submit your inquiry, e-mail her at trout_mic@msn.com, and type "Voler Training Question" in the subject line of the e-mail.

Tis the Season to Be .... Prepared

by Marilyn Trout

OK, OK…it’s a far cry from making the Top 10 on the Christmas Carol charts but it fits with the Training Tip I want to write about AND it even follows the “Tis the Season to be…” theme from last week. 

“Lack of preparation is like producing your weapons in the trenches of the battlefield – you will be killed trying to do it.”

Having recently watched Ken Burns’ stellar documentary “The War”, this quote takes on a whole new dimension. The scene of a battalion instructed to hold the line without basic supplies in the severest of winter conditions for months on end, is etched in my mind. Casualities were, obviously, extremely high. 

My apologies, this is hardly the time of year for my choice of illustration. I agree. However, it does get to the heart of the matter not just for sport but for life as well. Your fitness, and health, is something to be taken with intention and preparation both for the Christmas season as well as the upcoming cycling season. To simply deal with the training disruptions as they come along, simply won’t do. The time that you take now to prepare for the upcoming holiday season will pay great dividends later…now won’t that be sweet when our credit card statement comes in January! 

Here’s a few thoughts: 

Plan for it – Virtual coaching plans can provide some good direction but the one thing they don’t factor in is life and all the dynamics it brings. One of the first things I ask my athletes before drawing up a training schedule, “is there anything out of the ordinary that I need to be aware of?” Sometimes when there’s business trips, school plays, family gatherings…fitting training in is like “pounding a square peg in a round hole.” It just doesn’t work. Indeed, we do NOT want the laziness factor a part of the equation BUT there IS a difference between being lazy and being crazy. You have to decide which camp you’re in and then act accordingly. Either get off the couch or get a good night’s rest. My advice… plan an extra day or two off during a chaotic week, you’ll be more energized for doing it and won’t waste time feeling guilty. 

Plan for it – OK … we’ve planned for the “out of the ordinary” things that we know of, now we have to plan for the “out of the ordinary” things that we don’t know of. No, there’s no crystal ball in my coaching package but there is a good dose of mental training. Whether in a race, climbing a mountain or dealing with a problem employee, stress is stress. Take the time to prepare for your stressors that grip you at this time of year. They WILL come but believe that things can be different with a bit of preparation on your part. 

“Change what you can change and that which you can’t change, leave alone.” 

Wishing you the joy and peace the Season was intended to bring, 

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