Week four bled together with week three.

Full of life stressors and the unfortunate accident (thankfully everyone is ok and healing well — thank you for your kind words), it’s more prevalent than ever that training isn’t just physical.

In fact, I’ve been reading one of the best training books I’ve ever read, The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing. While I’m still in the early pages of the book, Dr. Philip Maffetone paints one of the clearest pictures I’ve encountered regarding endurance training.

The true holistic approach to developing endurance is one in which all aspects of the athlete are considered — these are the triad of structural, chemical and mental fitness and health.

Dr. Maffetone goes on to explain that this approach to holistic training can be represented as an equilateral triangle. The two obvious sides of the triangle are the structural (physical and mechanical aspects, e.g. muscles, joints, etc.) and chemistry (bio0chemical reactions, hormones, food, etc.).

But the one side of the triangle that is gaining increased awareness in my life is the “mental and emotional” side. This is the side that “incorporates our behavior through the activities of the physical and chemical brain.” Among other things, we’re talking about moods, anxiety and stress. It’s not about fitness, but health, which are two very different things.

While I’ve only scratched the surface of the book (and I’ll leave it to Dr. M to further elaborate), it made me realize that I need to stop neglecting this part of my endurance triangle as it is just as important. Being cognizant of the stressors and mental well-being in my life are critical and directly effect my athletic performance. It’s not just the hours I put in, but how I take care of the other two triangles.

The proof was in the pudding when I tried to run shortly thereafter Chicken Face’s accident and my heart rate was through the roof and I simply couldn’t get it down. Week four’s workouts tended to follow this pattern, but they are also what bring me the biggest stress relief.

UntitledWhen Cate & I gave the wind and it’s attitude a big middle finger.

So as I look down the path of the rest of my training cycle for the season, it will still be about quality over quantity and getting the workouts in, but it will also be about taking care of the entire triangle and making changes in my life to do so, even if they do make people raise their eyebrows and ask, “Why?”

Then I’ll just smile.

UntitledP.S. It was dark and cloudy when I started this ride…thus the clear lenses. And I still don’t have the heart to rip my Ironman sticker off my helmet just yet.

I closed out week 4 with:

10.45 hours training:
4,750 yards swimming
66.1 miles cycling 
18.7 miles running
15 minutes core and rolling

Happy Running.

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15 Responses to LAKE STEVENS 70.3: WEEK 4

  1. Arletta Tell says:

    Hi. I read that entire book and loved it. I just finished week 6 of the training program (running within my heart rate). Last week I started the no carb portion. I suffer from moderate to severe Crohn’s disease. The no carb diet has been SO difficult to follow, but SO very worth it. I have lived pain free since I started this diet. Good luck with the program! I’m so glad I found it.

    • PageWilliams says:

      That’s so exciting to hear! I haven’t gotten to the food part yet, but it’s stories like yours that make it encouraging. I’m glad you are living pain-free.

  2. That sounds like a really cool book, I always forget how important it is to be mentally clear for a good training session, I always feel like I can run my worries away but sometimes that’s definitely not the case.

  3. Cate says:

    I need to read that book!
    SO happy I got to ride with you two weekends in a row!

  4. Kristina says:

    Sorry that you had a rough week but glad that everyone is safe and well.
    I also had a difficult week and had to make some adjustments to my schedule – it just didn’t make sense to bulldoze ahead with training as usual when things were pretty far from a normal routine. I definitely like the idea of quality over quantity – makes sense!

  5. Jayme says:

    Thank you for sharing this! I’m training for my first marathon and have found myself dealing with increased stress and anxiety over what I don’t accomplish – I think I’ve been pushing myself too hard in other areas of my life, and that third side of the triangle is definitely suffering. It’s great to reinforce that I can’t let the other two sides supersede that third. I’ll definitely be checking out that book!

  6. I keep hearing more and more about Maffetone. I was listening to the endurance planet podcast yesterday and Tawnee Prazak kept talking about Dr. Maffetone in reference to IM fueling and ideas and fat adapting. Sounds like this man is very smart.

  7. shanna says:

    I couldn’t agree more about the mental aspect of training! I have not read the book, but, at least anecdotally for me, it is very true. I really enjoy your 70.3 training recaps and am doing something similar on my own blog for my Ironman Lake Placid training! I started reading your blog when you were training for IMCDA. :)

  8. Lindsay Woods says:

    That sounds like a must read. It makes so much sense when you think about it that we perform better when its all in balance. I often run when I am stressed and always fine I am sore the next day – it is probably bc I am already tense. Gonna grab that book

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