You have to fail in order to move forward

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Arnold Schwarzenegger
"Don't be a girlie man!"

Walking back from training this morning I struck up a conversation with Lee. Lee was walking ahead of me and looked a little unsteady on her feet so I asked her if she was alright. It turns out she had broken her back and spine a few years back, but through determination and persistence she was not only now walking again but also looking forward to again returning to her previous enjoyment of sprinting. Inspirational.

I was inspired by her story. The long journey of overcoming a disastrous turn of events, and the slow and gradual road to recovery. Achieving things which she was told she would never do again- standing, walking, independence- things we all take for granted.

She mentioned a quote from Arnold Schwarzenegger, which although not verbatim, is something like:

You have to fail in order to move forward.

Not everything goes to plan, and setbacks should just make you more determined to succeed. Being comfortable marked the beginning of the road to mediocrity. Listening to her story, it dawned on me that the level of discomfort and pain she had endured- physically and emotionally- would have been intense at different times.

I mentioned some minor discomfort with my left calf calf muscle in comparison to what she had overcome indicating that her story had put my injury into perspective. She listened and then suggested that maybe this irritation might be linked to my big toe. She suggested some stretching exercises, incorporation of swimming (for hip mobility), talked about diet and a list of awesome advice which was great to receive.

Lee gave me some insights to improving my training and conditioning- about excelling performance and avoiding overtraining. We finished with her giving me her philosophy to attitude and goal setting. A great start to the day. Thanks Lee.


Powered by GU- Performing better and going longer!

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Big thanks and kudos to all of our friends at GU, suppliers of the performance food, for a generous sponsorship of energy supplements to fortify endurance when the training and City Runs to come become challenging.

A good diet is essential for extended endurance training, and while most of what we need is found in a balanced diet, the rigours of training and climate mean that often more energy and electrolytes are required while competing or training to assist with performance and fluid intake. This is especially so for training of higher intensity that goes for longer than 90 minutes. When training or competing often you don’t notice your energy being sapped until it is spent- the same with fluids. That is why hydration and supplements like GU are so important.

GU provides an immediately digestible form of carbohydrates and electrolytes. Not only do these replace what exercise burns up in producing energy for the body, but they are combined in exactly the right combination to maximise the uptake of water consumed. The body benefits from energy, electrolyte balance and good hydration.

I will be thanking Andrew from GU Sports every step of the way when out on long runs. It makes a huge difference to training, and gives noticeable edge to confidence knowing that you won’t be flagging half-way through.

If you are looking for GU to add into your training, go to any good sports retailer. There are many products on the markets. The ones you buy in the supermarket are more like sugar bombs and don’t really cut it. Go with GU!

Training log: 9 October. 1600 m fast pace sets.

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The Sydney Opera House on Bennelong Point.
View from Mrs Macquaries Chair

Good training this afternoon with five sets of 1600 m fast pace runs- less than a sprint, but faster than event pace.

Good response, and legs holding up well. Some good stretching before and afterwards.

I was running along Sydney Harbour between Mrs Macquaries Chair and the western apron of the Sydney Opera House. Unbeatable training location, except that toward the last 400m of the fourth set a filming crew had blocked the path preventing all pedestrian access. I wasn’t really happy about that, but had to work around it which initially I found frustrating but was a good reminder that not everything will go to plan. There will be bigger difficulties to contend with on the journey ahead.

Training Log: 31 August. 8 x 400 m sprints

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From Cook and Phillip Pool, I ran down to Sydney Harbour’s gorgeous foreshore at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair located at the Royal Botanic Gardens. Sydney would have to be one of the most scenic cities in which to train.

Measuring out a 400 m stretch, I pounded out the eight laps required by today’s schedule.

I wasn’t wearing a watch or heart-rate monitor, so ran for maximum effort on each lap.

Commencing the running I had some soreness in my lower calves and ankles from the past week’s training, but this soon loosened up allowing me a free stride.

Sprint training can be hard work when your fitness is low. As your fitness improves, the ability to continually run at pace becomes an engaging challenge within one’s self.

The reward from tonight’s training was a spectacular sunset spilt out across a chequer-board pattern of clouds in the sky. Did anyone capture the sunset on camera? Send me a photo, and I will upload in the blog.